Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Boost for new cancer therapies

15.12.2006
Scientists have revealed the critical role a key enzyme plays in helping cells divide in what could prove an important breakthrough for new cancer therapies.

Cells divide to form two identical cells as part of the body’s natural development and replenishment processes but when cells divide in an abnormal manner, tumours can develop.

Research has shown that an enzyme called ‘Polo kinase’ is involved in normal cell division but that it also goes into overdrive in cancer helping cells to multiply in an uncontrolled way.

Clinical trials on drugs that block the actions of Polo kinase started in the United States last year but the complete picture of how the enzyme assisted the cell-division process has not been clear until now.

... more about:
»Cancer »Kinase »POLO »enzyme

Writing in the highly respected science journal, Nature, a team of researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne have described a new way in which the enzyme works.

“Enzymes are proteins that speed up or ‘catalyse’ the body’s chemical reactions such as those required for normal cell division,” explained Professor Andrew Sharrocks, lead researcher in Manchester’s Faculty of Life Sciences.

“As its name suggests, the enzyme we have studied is from a group known as kinase enzymes which use a particular chemical – a phosphate – to catalyse the reactions that lead to cell division.

“Our study has identified a new target protein that uses these phosphate groups to switch on genes and alter the properties of cells.

“When the actions of enzymes like Polo kinase go unchecked, cells divide in an uncontrolled manner to form tumours. However, if we block their activity using chemical inhibitors the cells can no longer divide and the cancer cannot grow and spread.”

The identification of a new key step in which Polo kinase functions confirms the choice of this enzyme as a target for anti-cancer drug development and will spur on efforts in this direction.

Indeed, as scientists now have a much greater understanding of the mechanisms involved, it might enable them to either develop more effective drugs or suggest different situations in which the drug can be used.

“Kinase inhibitors are proving to be very effective at killing off rogue cells and trials on patients elsewhere have been promising with fewer toxic effects than current cancer treatments,” said Professor Sharrocks.

“Our research on Polo kinase will help with this line of drug development and hopefully produce more effective kinase-blocking chemicals that will one day treat patients with different types of cancer.”

Aeron Haworth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

Further reports about: Cancer Kinase POLO enzyme

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences

nachricht Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>