The study, published in the June 26th issue of the journal Science, found that STAT3, in addition to its role in the cell nucleus regulating gene expression, is also present in mitochondria and regulates the activity of the electron transport chain in tumors cells. Mitochondria are the basic energy-producing organelles of the cell and are known to be critical for tumor cell metabolism.
"These results open the possibility that inhibiting the mitochondrial function of STAT3 could be a promising cancer therapy in the future," adds Dr. Levy. "By knowing this mitrochondrial function is critical, it may be possible to design therapeutic strategies that specifically target this function while sparing the other functions of the protein, such as its ability to turn genes on. Therefore, we would hope that inhibitors could be developed that would be highly specific for cancer cells."
STAT3, which stands for "signal transducer and activators of transcription," is a protein that was discovered as a regulator of gene expression. It's only function was thought to be to turn genes on in the cell nucleus, particularly when the cells have been exposed to events that require an immune response. It was found, however, to mediate many critical steps in the response to infection. Dr. Levy and colleagues have been studying STAT3 since the mid 1990s, when they first cloned its gene. The current results by Dr. Levy and his colleagues were obtained from experiments that examined tumors caused by the Ras oncogene, which is responsible for many human cancers.
"Future experiments will need to determine if a similar mitochondrial role for STAT3 is critical for other types of cancer as well, states Dr. Levy. "We'll also need a better understanding of the biochemical basis for the function of STAT3. For instance, we are trying to find out what STAT3 does in mitochondria, what enzymes and processes it regulates and how these processes differ in tumors compared to normal cells."
The study by Dr. Levy and his colleagues was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
About NYU Langone Medical Center
Located in New York City, NYU Langone Medical Center is one of the nation's premier centers of excellence in health care, biomedical research, and medical education. For over 168 years, NYU physicians and researchers have made countless contributions to the practice and science of health care. Today the Medical Center consists of NYU School of Medicine, including the Smilow Research Center, the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, and the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences; the three hospitals of NYU Hospitals Center, Tisch Hospital, a 705-bed acute-care general hospital, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, the first and largest facility of its kind, and NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, a leader in musculoskeletal care; and such major programs as the NYU Cancer Institute, the NYU Child Study Center, and the Hassenfeld Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Dorie Klissas | EurekAlert!
The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences
Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine