The findings may point the way to new cancer treatments
Research conducted at the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has discovered links between a set of genes known to promote tumor growth and mucoepidermoid carcinoma, an oral cancer that affects the salivary glands.
The discovery could help physicians develop new treatments that target the cancer's underlying genetic causes.
The research, recently published online ahead of print by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that a pair of proteins joined together by a genetic mutation—known as CRTC1/MAML2 (C1/M2)—work with MYC, a protein commonly associated with other cancers, to promote the oral cancer's growth and spread.
"This research provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms of these malignances and points to a new direction for potential therapies," says TSRI biologist Michael Conkright, PhD, who led the study.
The C1/M2 protein is created when the genes encoding CRTC1 and MAML2 mutate into a single gene through a process known as chromosomal translocation.
Such mutant "chimera" genes are linked to the formation of several forms of cancer. The team discovered that the C1/M2 protein further activates genetic pathways regulated by MYC, in addition to CREB, to begin a series of cellular changes leading to the development of mucoepidermoid carcinoma.
"The identification of unique interactions between C1/M2 and MYC suggests that drugs capable of disrupting these interactions may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of mucoepidermoid carcinomas, " said Antonio L. Amelio, Ph.D., first author of the study who is now assistant professor with the UNC School of Dentistry and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Researchers have known about the role of C1/M2 and its interactions with another protein, CREB, in the development of mucoepidermoid carcinoma, and physicians screen patients for the presence of the C1/M2 protein when testing for this cancer.
These new findings deepen the understanding of C1/M2's role by revealing that it works with a family of cancer-associated genes known as the MYC family to drive the cellular changes necessary for a tumor to develop.
The discovery of these new protein interactions may also reveal insights into the mechanisms behind other cancers that arise due to other genetic mutations involving the CREB and MYC pathways.
In addition to Conkright and Amelio, other authors of the study, "CRTC1/MAML2 gain-of-function interactions with MYC create a gene signature predictive of cancers with CREB–MYC involvement," include Mohammad Fallahi of IT Informatics, Franz X. Schaub, Mariam B. Lawani, Adam S. Alperstein, Mark R. Southern, Brandon M. Young, and John L. Cleveland of TSRI, and Min Zhang, Lizi Wu, Maria Zajac-Kaye, and Frederic J. Kaye of Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida (Gainsville).
The research was supported in part by a Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award in Cancer Research from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) (K99-CA157954), National Institutes of Health/NCI R01 Grant CA100603, a PGA National WCAD Cancer Research Fellowship and Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Cancer Institute (F32-CA134121), the Margaret Q. Landerberger Research Foundation, a Swiss National Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and monies from the State of Florida to TSRI's Scripps Florida.
Eric Sauter | Eurek Alert!
How Invasive Plants Influence an Ecosystem
28.07.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Perseus translates proteomics data
27.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Transparent electronics devices are present in today’s thin film displays, solar cells, and touchscreens. The future will bring flexible versions of such devices. Their production requires printable materials that are transparent and remain highly conductive even when deformed. Researchers at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have combined a new self-assembling nano ink with an imprint process to create flexible conductive grids with a resolution below one micrometer.
To print the grids, an ink of gold nanowires is applied to a substrate. A structured stamp is pressed on the substrate and forces the ink into a pattern. “The...
A new Fraunhofer MEVIS method conveys medical interrelationships quickly and intuitively with innovative visualization technology
On the monitor, a brain spins slowly and can be examined from every angle. Suddenly, some sections start glowing, first on the side and then the entire back of...
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory have discovered an unusual property of purple bronze that may point to new ways to achieve high temperature superconductivity.
While studying purple bronze, a molybdenum oxide, researchers discovered an unconventional charge density wave on its surface.
Munich Physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.
Temporally varying electromagnetic fields are the driving force behind the whole of electronics. Their polarities can change at mind-bogglingly fast rates, and...
Breakup of continents with two speed: Continents initially stretch very slowly along the future splitting zone, but then move apart very quickly before the onset of rupture. The final speed can be up to 20 times faster than in the first, slow extension phase.phases
Present-day continents were shaped hundreds of millions of years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart. Derived from Pangaea’s main fragments Gondwana...
15.07.2016 | Event News
15.07.2016 | Event News
11.07.2016 | Event News
28.07.2016 | Materials Sciences
28.07.2016 | Earth Sciences
28.07.2016 | Medical Engineering