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 A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>