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
Sathya Achia Abraham | EurekAlert!
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...
24.05.2017 | Event News
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