The scientists have identified a compound which, when introduced into Xenopus Laevis tadpoles, blocks the movement of the pigment cells that give the tadpoles their distinctive markings and which develop into the familiar greenish-brown of the adult frog.
It is the uncontrolled movement and growth of pigment cells (melanophore) in both tadpoles and humans that causes a particularly dangerous form of skin cancer. By blocking the migration of these cells, the development and spread of cancerous tumours can potentially be prevented.
Published today in the Cell Press journal 'Chemistry & Biology', the findings are the culmination of several years' work by the UEA team. This unconventional study, which was initiated with funding from the UK Medical Research Council, identifies for the first time an effective new man-made MMP (metalloproteinase) inhibitor, known as 'NSC 84093'.
The work was led by the University of East Anglia, in partnership with the John Innes Centre (JIC) and Pfizer.
"This is an exciting advance with implications in the fight against cancer," said lead author Dr Grant Wheeler of UEA's School of Biological Sciences.
"The next step is to test the compound in other species and, in the longer term, embark on the development of new drugs to fight skin cancer in humans."
The species Xenopus Laevis (South African clawed frog) is more closely related to humans than one might expect. It only diverged from man 360 million years ago and has the same organs, molecules and physiology. This means that the same mechanisms are involved in causing cancer in both Xenopus tadpoles and humans.
Until the 1960s, Xenopus Laevis frogs were used as the main human pregnancy test. A woman's urine sample was injected into a live frog. If the urine contained the hCG (human chrionic gonadotropin) hormone, the frog would lay eggs within 24 hours, indicating that the woman was pregnant.
Simon Dunford | EurekAlert!
Bare bones: Making bones transparent
27.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences