Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UNC team finds new target for treatment of advanced prostate cancer

07.07.2010
In its early stages, prostate cancer requires androgens (hormones that promote the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics) for growth, and current first-line therapies target the receptor for these hormones to slow cancer's development and spread.

However, advanced prostate cancers are often androgen-independent, meaning that androgen-blocking therapies are ineffective.

Scientists aren't sure how this shift occurs as prostate cancer advances. One idea is that prostate cancer cells acquire the ability to make their own androgen. Another says that the androgen receptor that is known to stimulate tumor growth can still be active even when the hormone is not present. Most likely, both are important.

A recent study by UNC researchers, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, provides evidence for the second theory, demonstrating that expression of one of a group of genes found only in humans and non-human primates can promote androgen receptor activity in concert with other proteins called coregulators.

One of a group of MAGE genes, so named because they were originally identified in melanoma, called MAGE-11 interacts with another protein, called p300, to provide the cancer cells with a way to enhance androgen receptor signaling and promote tumor growth, even when patients are undergoing androgen deprivation therapy.

According to team leader Elizabeth M. Wilson, PhD, professor of pediatrics and biochemistry and biophysics at UNC-Chapel Hill, "We found that a small portion of the androgen receptor interacts with the MAGE-11 molecule which serves as a bridge to p300, a strong histone modifying enzyme that increases androgen receptor activity. This is exciting because it shows how the cancer cells have developed a way to boost androgen receptor activity, even in the absence or at low levels of the hormone that binds the androgen receptor."

Wilson, who is also a UNC Lineberger member, goes on to explain that understanding this mechanism opens the door to additional targets for new therapies and broader clinical applications of new drugs.

"The MAGE-11 molecule is a promising target for shutting down androgen receptor activity that promotes the growth of cancer cells," she adds.

Other team members include Emily Askew, a recent PhD graduate of the Toxicology Curriculum at UNC, Suxia Bai, PhD, a former post-doctoral fellow in the Wilson laboratory, and Amanda Blackwelder, a research specialist.

The research was supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Public Health Service.

Ellen de Graffenreid | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute

nachricht X-ray experiments reveal two different types of water
27.06.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins

27.06.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>