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

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:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Strong, steady forces at work during cell division
20.10.2016 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Disturbance wanted
20.10.2016 | Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>