Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Team Discovers a Piece of the Puzzle for Individualized Cancer Therapy Via Gene Silencing

28.05.2010
In a major cancer-research breakthrough, researchers at the McGill University, Department of Biochemistry have discovered that a small segment of a protein that interacts with RNA can control the normal expression of genes – including those that are active in cancer. A video outlining the discovery is available at http://podcasts.mcgill.ca/pods/press/nagar.mp4

The research, published online on May 26, 2010 by the prestigious journal Nature, has important immediate applications for laboratory research and is another step toward the kind of individualized cancer therapies researchers are pursuing vigorously around the world.

Human cells need to produce the correct proteins at the right time and in the appropriate quantities to stay healthy. One of the key means by which cells achieve this control is by "RNA interference", a form of gene silencing where small pieces of RNA, called micro RNAs, obstruct the production of specific proteins by interacting with their genetic code. However, not any piece of RNA can do this. Dr. Bhushan Nagar and graduate student Filipp Frank, in collaboration with Dr. Nahum Sonenberg at McGill’s new Life Sciences Complex, used structural biology to unravel how a small segment in the Argonaute proteins, the key molecules of RNA interference, can select the correct micro RNAs.

In doing so, the team has discovered that Argonaute proteins can potentially be exploited to enhance gene silencing. “RNA interference could be used as a viable therapeutic approach for inhibiting specific genes that are aberrantly active in diseases such as cancer”, Nagar said. “We now have a handle on being able to rationally modify micro RNAs to make them more efficient and possibly into therapeutic drugs.”

While therapeutic applications are many years away, this new insight provides an avenue to specifically control the production of proteins, which in cancer cells for example, are abnormal.

“This is fantastic news,” said Dr. David Thomas, Chair of McGill’s Department of Biochemistry. “You’ve seen stories lately about how we may see the end of chemotherapy? Well, this is part of that path in developing genetically based therapies that can be tailored to individual patients’ particular illnesses. It’s a great step forward.”

The research received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Human Frontier’s Science Program and supported by the FRSQ Groupe de Recherche Axé sur la Structure des Protéines (GRASP).

On the Web
Video explaining this research: http://podcasts.mcgill.ca/pods/press/nagar.mp4
For broadcast-quality footage, please contact William Raillant-Clark – 514-398-2189 or william.raillant-clark@mcgill.ca

McGill Biochemistry: http://www.mcgill.ca/biochemistry/

Découverte d’une pièce du casse-tête de la thérapie personnalisée contre le cancer

Des membres du Département de biochimie de l’Université McGill ont effectué une percée significative en matière de recherche sur le cancer. Ils ont découvert qu’un petit segment d’une protéine qui interfère avec l’ARN peut contrôler l’expression normale de gènes, notamment les gènes actifs dans les cellules cancéreuses. Consultez la vidéo suivante à ce sujet (en anglais): http://podcasts.mcgill.ca/pods/press/nagar.mp4

Publiés en ligne le 26 mai 2010 par le prestigieux journal Nature, les travaux ont déjà ouvert la voie à d’importantes applications pour la recherche en laboratoire et constituent une autre étape vers le type de thérapies personnalisées contre le cancer que des spécialistes du monde entier tentent ardemment de mettre au point.

Pour demeurer saine, la cellule humaine doit produire les bonnes protéines au bon moment, et ce, en quantité appropriée. Elle y parvient notamment grâce à l’ARN interférence, une forme de dégradation génétique par laquelle de petits morceaux d’ARN, appelés ARNm, bloquent la production de protéines spécifiques en interférant avec leur code génétique. Toutefois, tous les ARNm ne peuvent accomplir cette tâche. En collaboration avec le professeur Nahum Sonenberg du nouveau Complexe des sciences de la vie de McGill, le professeur Bhushan Nagar et l’étudiant aux cycles supérieurs Filipp Frank ont fait appel à la biologie structurelle pour mettre au jour un petit segment de protéines Argonaute - molécules essentielles à l’ARN interférence – apte à sélectionner les ARNm adéquats.

Ce faisant, l’équipe a découvert que les protéines Argonaute pouvaient éventuellement être exploitées pour amplifier la dégradation. « L’ARN interférence peut servir de démarche thérapeutique viable pour inhiber des gènes spécifiques exagérément actifs dans des cas de maladies comme le cancer », a déclaré le professeur Nagar. « Nous avons maintenant une porte ouverte sur la capacité de modifier rationnellement les ARNm pour les rendre plus efficaces, voire les transformer en médicaments. »

Même si l’on ne peut envisager d’applications thérapeutiques avant plusieurs années, ces nouvelles connaissances offrent une avenue pour réguler la production spécifique de protéines anormales, notamment dans les cellules cancéreuses.

« C’est une nouvelle formidable », a déclaré le professeur David Thomas, directeur du Département de biochimie de l’Université McGill. « Récemment, des reportages évoquant la fin de l’utilisation de la chimiothérapie ont été présentés. Eh bien, cela fait partie de ce parcours menant à la mise au point de thérapies fondées sur les gènes et personnalisées en fonction de la maladie à traiter. C’est un grand pas en avant. »

Financée par les Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada et le programme scientifique des frontières de l’humain, la recherche a été soutenue par le Groupe de recherche axé sur la structure des protéines du Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec.

Internet : http://www.mcgill.ca/biochemistry/
Vidéo explicative : http://podcasts.mcgill.ca/pods/press/nagar.mp4

William Raillant-Clark | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.mcgill.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

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...

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

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>