Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular Link between Inflammation and Cancer Discovered

26.01.2007
A team led by biochemists at the University of California, San Diego has found what could be a long-elusive mechanism through which inflammation can promote cancer. The findings may provide a new approach for developing cancer therapies.

The study, published in the January 26 issue of the journal Cell, shows that what scientists thought were two distinct processes in cells—the cells’ normal development and the cells’ response to dangers such as invading organisms—are actually linked. The researchers, who were also from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, say that the linkage of these two processes may explain why cancer, which is normal growth and development gone awry, can result from chronic inflammation, which is an out-of-control response to danger.

“Although there is plenty of evidence that chronic inflammation can promote cancer, the cause of this relationship is not understood,” said Alexander Hoffmann, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at U.C. San Diego, who led the study. “We have identified a basic cellular mechanism that we think may be linking chronic inflammation and cancer.”

Cellular defense is a rapid process compared to cellular development, just as a state’s response to terrorist threats is swifter than the construction of new infrastructure. However, in both settings, safeguarding against threats and building structures have certain steps in common and require similar types of workers, or molecules.

Hoffmann referred to the parallel sets of steps in cellular defense and development as “mirror image pathways.” His team showed that these pathways are not distinct from one another because they are linked by a protein called p100. They found that inflammation leads to an increase in p100, but that p100 is also used in certain steps in development. Therefore p100 allows communication between inflammation and development.

A small amount of dialogue between inflammation and development is beneficial, say the researchers, akin to how information from anti-terrorism efforts could be useful to crews building the state’s infrastructure. On the other hand, the constant influence of defense processes on development is detrimental.

“Studies with animals have shown that a little inflammation is necessary for the normal development of the immune system and other organ systems,” explained Hoffmann. “We discovered that the protein p100 provides the cell with a way in which inflammation can influence development. But there can be too much of a good thing. In the case of chronic inflammation, the presence of too much p100 may overactivate the developmental pathway, resulting in cancer.”

In the paper, the researchers propose that thinking of the processes of defense and development as part of a single large system “represents an opportunity for therapeutic intervention.” For example, it might be easier to break the link between inflammation and cancer by targeting the developmental pathway, rather than the inflammation pathway.

“Many of the developmental signals that cells use are sent outside the cell, so they should be easier to block with drugs than inflammation signals, which tend to be confined within cells,” said Hoffmann. “It’s more challenging to design drugs that will enter cells.”

Because the molecules that play a role in the inflammation and development pathways have been extensively studied for many years, the researchers say that it is surprising to find a new molecule that significantly revises scientists’ understanding about the interactions between inflammation and development. They credit their discovery to an approach that combines biochemical techniques and computation.

“Our mathematical model of inflammation and development includes 98 biochemical reactions,” said Soumen Basak, a postdoctoral fellow working with Hoffmann. “ When we ran the model, it predicted that p100 levels would be elevated for a significant period of time when the inflammation pathway was stimulated. We confirmed the prediction using biochemical techniques with cells in the laboratory.”

“ The finding is exciting because it means that p100 provides cells with a memory to inflammatory exposure,” added Basak, who was the first author on the paper.

Also contributing to the study were Hana Kim, Jeffrey D. Kearns, Ellen O’Dea, Shannon L. Werner and Gourisankar Ghosh from U.C. San Diego, Vinay Tergaonkar and Inder M. Verma from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and Chris A. Benedict and Carl F. Ware from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America and the American Heart Association.

Sherry Seethaler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

Further reports about: Chronic PROVIDE chronic inflammation inflammation p100

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg

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

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

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

Decoding cement's shape promises greener concrete

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>