A report on the work by BCM researchers with fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 appears today in the journal Cancer Cell.
“Since we are manipulating the target gene itself, we can ask, what will happen" If we turn it off, what happens" That recapitulates the effect of a specific drug,” said Dr. David Spencer, professor of immunology at BCM. “By turning the gene on and off at various time points, we can define a ‘susceptibility window’ for that drug, a time in the progression of the disease when the gene would be an appropriate target.”
That therapeutic “window” defines the time when shutting off the gene would also shut down progression of the cancer. Previous studies show that fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 may have a role in initiating prostate cancer, he said. As a result, some companies have developed drugs designed to block the receptor. Spencer’s work looks at what would happen if the receptor is blocked.
In his mouse, he used a synthetic drug that turned the re-engineered fibroblast growth factor receptor on. As the gene product was activated, the prostate gland began dramatic, synchronized changes characteristic of cancer. However, when he withdrew the drug that turned the receptor on, the changes reversed over several weeks until the prostate gland appeared normal.
However, at a certain point, changes in the tissue reach a point of no-return and transform in to a kind of cancer called adenocarcinoma that does not appear to be reversible, although withdrawing the drug can slow the cancer, too.
During this study, Spencer, his graduate student, Victor Acevedo and their colleagues also studied the changes prostate cells undergo while they spread outside the gland and into surrounding tissue. Understanding the events that take place in cells during the transition from normal to cancer can provide important clues about cancer and potential treatments.
From this study, he has identified some of the genes involved in the transition from normal prostate cells within a secretory gland to more migratory, malignant cells outside the gland. Using special gene chips called tumor microarrays, they have also discovered the up regulation or increase in cellular levels of Fzd4, a gene that might prove to be a new marker for human prostate cancer.
“Victor started out looking for a role of fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 in prostate cancer progression and ended up with a new cancer marker and a model for epithelial cell plasticity, rounding out his productive thesis,” Spencer added.
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy