In a series of lab studies with human prostate cancer cells, the Hopkins scientists were surprised to find overproduction of myosin VI in both prostate tumor cells and precancerous lesions. When the scientists genetically altered the cells to "silence" myosin VI, they discovered the cells were less able to invade in a test tube.
"Our results suggest that myosin VI may be critical in starting and maintaining the malignant properties of the majority of human prostate cancers diagnosed today," says Angelo M. De Marzo, M.D., Ph.D., a study coauthor and associate professor of pathology, urology and oncology.
The Hopkins work, published in the November issue of the American Journal of Pathology, has potential value for better ways to diagnose the disease, treat and track the effects of drugs and surgery. "Targeting myosin VI represents a promising new approach that could lead eventually new approaches to treating the disease," says Jun Luo, Ph.D., senior author of the paper and assistant professor of urology.
Myosins are a class of 40 motor proteins that power cell movement and muscle contractions. Normally, as they work, myosins slide in a single direction along the threads of a protein called actin. But myosin VI moves against the grain, and it does not function as a classical "muscle" protein.
Using a DNA microarray to study all of the genes in 59 samples of benign or cancerous prostate tissue from patients at Johns Hopkins, the researchers found the malignant samples showed a 3.7-fold higher expression of myosin VI as compared to normal samples, and a 4.6-fold increase as compared to the samples from patients with enlarged prostate.
Next, the researchers hunted for myosin VI in 240 prostate tissue samples, discovering overproduction early in the development of prostate cancer in such pre-tumor conditions as high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) and proliferative inflammatory atrophy.
Finally, when they altered some cancerous cells by knocking down their myosin VI protein, the cancer cells not only were less able to spread around, but also showed 10 times the amount of a tumor suppressor called thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP).
Prostate cancer, which affects one in nine American men over the course of their lives, is mainly diagnosed by needle biopsy of the prostate gland after a blood test shows an increased level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). While the PSA test is now widespread and provides many men with early diagnosis and better chance of a cure, says Luo, it may not be sensitive or specific enough to pinpoint the existence of cancer. Using myosin VI or other factors, it may be possible, Luo says, to create a laboratory test to identify high or low levels in urine or blood samples, and this might aid in the detection of prostate cancer. Myosin VI also has been shown to be associated with ovarian cancer.
Vanessa Wasta | EurekAlert!
Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)
CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy