Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Syracuse University research team discovers switch that causes the body to produce cancerous cells

07.09.2009
A team of Syracuse University researchers discovered a second molecular switch within the Mixed Lineage Leukemia protein complex that they believe could be exploited to prevent the overproduction of abnormal cells that are found in several types of cancer, including leukemia.

The paper was designated as the "Paper of the Week" in the September 4 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), published by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Only the top 1 percent of the more than 6,600 articles published each year in JBC receives this prestigious designation.

The research team is led by biologist Michael Cosgrove, assistant professor in SU's College of Arts and Sciences. Anamika Patel, a post-doctoral researcher in Cosgrove's lab, who is being featured on JBC's website, did much of the experimental work for the paper.

During the course of their research to better understand MLL, a protein switch that helps regulate the formation of white blood cells, Cosgrove's research group discovered a new molecular switch within the MLL complex, which they labeled W-RAD.

"We thought that MLL was the only switching mechanism present in this protein complex," Cosgrove said. "However, we discovered the complex is really two switches."

In normal cells, MLL combines with four proteins that comprise the W-RAD group to create a molecular switch that controls DNA packaging events required to form white blood cells. When the MLL switch is broken, white blood cells do not mature properly, resulting in a dangerous proliferation of abnormal cells.

Similarly, the proteins that form the W-RAD complex are overproduced in several types of cancer cells, but until now, scientists did not know the function of these proteins. Cosgrove's group discovered that the W-RAD proteins form a new kind of switch—one that has never been seen before.

"The W-RAD switching mechanism signals the cell to create multiple copies of cancer cells," Cosgrove says. "If we can find a way to turn off this switch, we might be able to slow or stop the production of abnormal cells and convert them to normal cells."

In October 2008, Cosgrove's research group broke new ground in leukemia research by identifying a way to attack a broken MLL switch using a synthetic peptide. The peptide may be able to reprogram the way DNA is packaged in leukemia cells and help convert abnormal cells into normal ones. That research was also published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. In June, Cosgrove received a $720,000 Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society to expand his work in leukemia research.

Judy Holmes | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.syr.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

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...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

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...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

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...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>