Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers identify gene that regulates tumors in neuroblastoma

04.06.2009
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have identified a gene that may play a key role in regulating tumor progression in neuroblastoma, a form of cancer usually found in young children. Scientists hope the finding could lead to an effective therapy to inhibit the expression of this gene.

According to Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., who is the first incumbent of the Thelma Newmeyer Corman Endowed Chair in Cancer Research with the VCU Massey Cancer Center, and Seok-Geun Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor in the VCU Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, co-lead investigators of the study, the team has shown that astrocyte elevated gene-1, AEG-1, a cancer promoting gene, is frequently activated in neuroblastoma.

In the study published online in the May issue of the journal Oncogene, Fisher, Lee and their team found that the elevated expression of AEG-1 makes cancer cells highly aggressive and resistant to factors that may influence cell suicide, and that loss of AEG-1 reduces the tumor-causing properties of highly aggressive neuroblastoma cells. Additionally, the expression of AEG-1 was significantly elevated in six of 10 neuroblastoma patient-derived samples compared to normal peripheral nerve tissues.

Furthermore, they have shown the potential correlation between AEG-1 and MYCN in neuroblastoma. MYCN is a known genetic determinant of neuroblastoma and elevated levels have been observed in one third of neuroblastoma patients. MYCN is linked to aggressive tumor formation and poor clinical outcome.

“We believe that activation of AEG-1 in addition to MYCN is critical to the development and progression of neuroblastoma. This works shows that AEG-1 plays a crucial role in the development and progression of neuroblastoma through activating important signaling pathway and induction of MYCN,” said Fisher, who also is professor and chair of the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, and director of the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine in the VCU School of Medicine.

“In addition, we have shown that AEG-1 could be a potential prognostic marker for neuroblastoma and a potential target for novel therapeutic strategies for neuroblastoma patients,” he said.

The team has already begun analyzing the expression of AEG-1 and its relationship with MYCN status in neuroblastoma patient samples. Through collaboration with John Maris, M.D., chair of neuroblastoma research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the team will acquire data from approximately 2,000 neuroblastoma patient tissues. They will also test if inactivation of AEG-1 using small interfering RNA could be a therapeutic intervention for neuroblastoma through second collaborative effort with Bill Weiss, M.D., associate professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco.

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, the Dana Foundation, and the Goldhirsh Foundation.

Fisher worked with a team that included VCU School of Medicine researchers Zaozhong Su, Ph.D., associate professor in the VCU Department of Human and Molecular Genetics; Devanand Sarkar, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., assistant professor and Harrison Endowed Scholar in Cancer Research at the VCU Massey Cancer Center, the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine and the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics; H-Y Jeon, J.E. Richards, and N. Vozhilla, D.V.M., with the VCU Department of Human and Molecular Genetics; and T Van Maerken, M.D., with the Center for Medical Genetics at the Ghent University Hospital in Ghent, Belgium.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A copy of the study is available for reporters by email request from j.john@natureny.com.

About VCU and the VCU Medical Center:

Virginia Commonwealth University is the largest university in Virginia with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, VCU enrolls 32,000 students in 205 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-five of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 15 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.

About the VCU Massey Cancer Center:

The VCU Massey CancerCenter is one of 63 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.

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

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How gut bacteria can make us ill
18.01.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How gut bacteria can make us ill

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

On track to heal leukaemia

18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>