Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Small molecules can starve cancer cells

11.10.2011
All cells in our body have a system that can handle cellular waste and release building blocks for recycling.

The underlying mechanism is called autophagy and literally means "self-eating". Many cancer cells have increased the activity of this system and the increased release of building blocks equip the cancer cells with a growth advantage and can render them resistant towards treatment.

"We have discovered a small molecule that can block autophagy in different cancer cells and specifically, this molecule can increase the sensitivity of breast cancer cells towards one of the most commonly used treatments for breast cancer," says Professor Anders H. Lund, at BRIC, University of Copenhagen.

The results have just been published in EMBO Journal: "microRNA-101 is a potent inhibitor of autophagy, Frankel et al."

Our own anti-cancer molecule
The molecule that the researchers have studied is called microRNA-101 and is found naturally in our cells. In cancer research, there is currently a large focus on both autophagy and microRNA molecules, which can control our genes and both mechanisms are known to play an important role for cancer development.

"We have shown that microRNA-101 can turn off specific genes and thereby inhibit autophagy in cancer cells. The fact that microRNA molecules can regulate autophagy is quite new and our results disclose a large and interesting field within cancer research" says researcher Lisa Frankel, who has been leading this research project in Anders H. Lund's laboratory.

Breast cancer treatment
MicroRNA-101 is often lost in liver cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer. By controlling the level of microRNA-101 in cells of different cancer types, the researchers from BRIC show that microRNA-101 regulates autophagy. In addition, the researchers have shown that breast cancer cells become more sensitive towards treatment with the anti-hormone Tamoxifen, when they via microRNA-101 turn off the autophagy system.

"This result has a clear clinical relevance, as resistance against tamoxifen is a large problem in the treatment of breast cancer," says Anders H. Lund.

The next step of the researchers is to investigate whether other microRNA molecules are involved in the regulation of autophagy in cancer cells. Further, they will take a closer look at the role of microRNA-101 in normal development of our organism and in the development of cancer.

Contact:
Professor Anders H. Lund, BRIC
Phone: +45 35325657
Mobile: +45 30662303
E-mail: anders.lund@bric.ku.dk
Postdoc Lisa Frankel, BRIC
Phone: +45 35325813
E-mail: lisa.frankel@bric.ku.dk

Dian Land | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | 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

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>