Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Identify new Gene Involved in the Development of Liver Cancer

20.04.2010
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have identified a new tumor-promoting gene that may play a key role in the development of liver cancer. Levels of the gene’s expression are significantly higher in more than 90 percent of patients with the disease compared to their healthy counterparts.

Researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine hope the findings could lead to an effective therapy to target and inhibit the expression of this gene and result in inhibition of cancer growth.

Hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC, or liver cancer, is the fifth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. Treatment options for HCC include chemotherapy, chemoembolization, ablation and proton-beam therapy. Liver transplantation offers the best chance for a cure in patients with small tumors and significant associated liver disease.

In the study published online the week of April 19 in the Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers employing a series of molecular studies identified the new oncogene called LSF, and observed that LSF levels are significantly higher in HCC patients compared to healthy individuals.

Further, the team found that LSF plays an important role in the development and progression of HCC, and that inhibiting LSF can reverse the aggressive properties of human liver cancer cells. They have also identified the molecular mechanism by which LSF promotes the growth of tumors.

“Researchers have been studying the role of LSF for more than 25 years in fields outside of cancer, but our work is the first demonstration that LSF plays an important role in HCC,” said principal investigator Devanand Sarkar, Ph.D., MBBS, assistant professor in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics in the VCU School of Medicine, and Harrison Endowed Scholar in Cancer Research at the VCU Massey Cancer Center and a member of the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine.

“We show a novel mechanism of HCC development by LSF that provides us with fresh insight into the complex etiology and mechanism of carcinogenesis process. Because LSF is increased in such a high percentage of patients, it could be a potential target for therapeutic intervention,” he said.

According to Sarkar, LSF is a transcription factor, which means it can directly regulate the expression of genes. The team has identified specific genes, such as osteopontin, that are directly induced by LSF.

“Osteopontin is a key player in regulating tumor development and progression and the identification of a master regulator of osteopontin, such as LSF, is a very important discovery,” said Sarkar.

The team is currently testing small molecule inhibitors of LSF as a possible therapy for HCC in animal models.

“Analysis of LSF level in biopsy material may one day be used as a prognostic marker for HCC. Clinicians may be able to design treatment strategies based on the LSF level of a patient. For example, a patient with higher LSF level will respond more to LSF inhibitors. Newer combinatorial strategies can be developed incorporating LSF inhibition in one arm,” he said.

This work was supported in part by grants from the Goldhirsh Foundation, the Dana Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, National Institute of Environmental Health and the Liver Tissue Cell Distribution System.

About the VCU Massey Cancer Center
The VCU Massey CancerCenter is one of 65 National Cancer Institute-designated institutions that leads and shapes America’s cancer research efforts. Working with all kinds of cancers, the Center conducts basic, translational and clinical cancer research, provides state-of-the-art treatments and promotes cancer prevention and education. Since 1974, Massey has served as an internationally recognized center of excellence. It offers more clinical trials than any other institution in Virginia, serving patients in Richmond and in four satellite locations. Treating all kinds of cancers, its 1,000 researchers, clinicians and staff members are dedicated to improving the quality of human life by developing and delivering effective means to prevent, control and, ultimately, to cure cancer. Visit Massey online at www.massey.vcu.edu or call 1-877-4-MASSEY.
About VCU and the VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 32,000 students in 211 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

Sathya Achia Abraham | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vcu.edu

Further reports about: Cancer End User Development HCC LSF VCU cancer research health services liver liver cancer specific gene

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>