There are potentially effective treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but they only work in 20 to 40 percent of cases. In a paper published today in Leukemia, a Nature journal, a UT Health Science Center researcher has pinpointed a protein that could play a key, previously unknown role in the development of pediatric AML — promising new information in the quest to treat and cure childhood leukemias.
AML starts at the point when cells mature into different kinds of blood cells. In AML, the cancerous cells grow and proliferate in an abnormal way, and they fail to develop, or differentiate, into normal functioning white blood cells. Also, high levels of a protein called WTAP contribute to abnormal cell behavior, observed Sanjay Bansal, Ph.D., a researcher at the Greehey Children's Cancer Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Dr. Bansal and his team, working with leukemia cells, used a laboratory technique to "knock down" WTAP expression in AML cells. What resulted was, in the research world, a resounding success.
"Knocking down this protein, WTAP, greatly suppressed proliferation and induced differentiation," said Hima Bansal, Ph.D., senior research associate at the Health Science Center and lead author of the paper. "It took care of both problems."
But they needed to understand how WTAP levels get so high in AML in the first place.
The researchers turned to another protein called Hsp90, a so-called "molecular chaperone" that helps stabilize more than 200 other proteins, known as Hsp90 "clients".
"When we suppressed Hsp90, we reduced WTAP," Dr. Bansal said. "So we have discovered two things: WTAP's role in AML and the mechanism underlying its overexpression."
Many of Hsp90's other client proteins are known targets in oncology, and "WTAP joins the list," Dr. Bansal said.
This discovery could open the door to more effective therapies for children and adults with newly diagnosed AML or for patients who have failed currently available treatments.
For current news from the UT Health Science Center, please visit our news release website or follow us on Twitter @uthscsa.
The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Migrating Cells: Folds in the cell membrane supply material for necessary blebs
23.11.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences