"Cancer researchers want to design new therapeutic strategies in which the metastasis or spreading stage of cancer can be blocked," explains Andrew Craig, lead researcher and a professor in Queen's Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Research Institute. "Patients stand a much better chance of survival if the primary tumor is the only tumor that needs to be treated."
The regulatory protein identified by Dr Craig's team inhibits the spread of cancer cells by removing and breaking down an invasive enzyme on the surface of cancer cells. If it remains unchecked, this enzyme degrades and modifies surrounding tissues, facilitating the spread of cancer through the body.
Dr. Craig hopes that his team's findings may help develop more targeted therapies that have a specific inhibitory function on this enzyme that is implicated in certain metastatic cancers.
Traditional therapies that have been used to counteract the invasive nature of this particular enzyme also destroy other enzymes that are important for the body's normal physiological function.
The researchers examined a network of proteins that are responsible for controlling the shape of cancer cells. They focused specifically on parts of the cell that protrude into surrounding body tissues, allowing the cancer cell to degrade surrounding tissue barriers.
Normal cells also produce similar protrusions as part of a healthy physiological process that allows cells to move through body tissues during an immune response.
During the spread of cancer these normally healthy mechanisms are coopted by cancer cells, allowing the cancer to break through tissue boundaries and colonize distant tissues. This process of cancer spread is known as metastasis and is frequently the cause of cancer-related deaths.
This research, which was funded by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, will be featured on the cover of the May issue of the Journal of Cell Science, one of the most prestigious international cell biology journals.
Christina Archibald | EurekAlert!
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
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02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
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.
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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.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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