Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researching Growth-Regulation Proteins That Underlie Cancer

10.11.2009
A University of Arkansas researcher will study potential cancer-causing mutants of a protein involved in cell growth regulation, thanks to a supplemental grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Paul Adams, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has received $108,000 over two years as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to hire two postdoctoral associates who will perform detailed studies of two different mutants of a protein involved in cell growth regulation.

“One of the hallmarks of cancer is that the cell does not turn off – it keeps growing,” Adams said. “Our goal is to find ways to eradicate this behavior.”

Adams studies a member of the Ras family of proteins that is involved in turning the growth of a cell on and off. His research team has created genetically engineered mutants of the protein with interesting results.

“If you engineer chemical differences in what you think are important regions of a protein, you can determine how vital these regions really are to the function of the protein,” Adams said. “This allows you to determine the important aspects of proteins that need to be targeted for therapeutic purposes.”

The first new study will be based on a finding in Adams’ laboratory – that a single mutation in the Ras protein decreases the flexibility of an important interaction. The new study will focus on simple experiments to determine how the decreased flexibility interferes with the protein’s ability to do its job.

“We made a mutation in an important region of our Ras protein known to be vital for the proper interaction of cell signaling regulatory proteins, and the mutation seemed to reduce the flexibility of the protein,” Adams said. “We have preliminary data that shows that this one mutation causes a decrease in an important protein-protein interaction,” one that interferes with the protein’s ability to properly signal between its active and inactive state – thus, the cell cannot turn growth on and off.

The second new study facilitated by the NIH supplement will be based on work in Adams’ laboratory, which characterized the molecular details of a mutation that highlighted how the protein, which normally cycles between active and inactive states, existed in a permanently active state, also known as a “fast-cycling mutant.” The new research will help determine if a mutation alone generates the fast-cycling state dictated by the nature of a bound nucleotide, or if an important protein-protein interaction is also disturbed, helping to cause the Ras protein to be permanently active. To do this, the researchers have created a mutant that destabilizes the binding region of the Ras protein.

“If Ras proteins are in an over-active state, this facilitates oncogenic activity,” Adams said.

“Our long-term goal in the laboratory is to use the information gained from our studies on the molecular details of these mutations in the subsequent design of drugs to change protein interactions that may cause oncogenic cell signaling,” Adams said.

Adams is a professor in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

CONTACTS:
Paul Adams, assistant professor, chemistry and biochemistry
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-5621, pxa001@uark.edu

Melissa Lutz Blouin | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.uark.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Kidney tumor: Genetic trigger discovered
18.06.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht New type of photosynthesis discovered
18.06.2018 | Imperial College London

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>