Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potential new eye tumor treatment discovered

05.08.2011
New research from a team including several Carnegie scientists demonstrates that a specific small segment of RNA could play a key role in the growth of a type of malignant childhood eye tumor called retinoblastoma.

The tumor is associated with mutations of a protein called Rb, or retinoblastoma protein. Dysfunctional Rb is also involved with other types of cancers, including lung, brain, breast and bone. Their work, which will be the cover story of the August 15th issue of Genes & Development, could result in a new therapeutic target for treating this rare form of cancer and potentially other cancers as well.

MicroRNAs are a short, single strands of genetic material that bind to longer strands of messenger RNA--which is the courier that brings the genetic code from the DNA in the nucleus to the cell's ribosome, where it is translated into protein. This binding activity allows microRNAs to silence the expression of select genes in a targeted manner. Abnormal versions of microRNAs have been implicated in the growth of several types of cancer.

The paper from Carnegie's Karina Conkrite, Maggie Sundby and David MacPherson--as well as authors from other institutions—focuses on a cluster of microRNAs called miR-17~92. Recent research has shown that aberrant versions of this cluster are involved in preventing pre-cancerous cells from dying and allowing them to proliferate into tumors. Previous work has shown that miR-17~92 can be involved in the survival of lymphoma and leukemia cells by reducing the levels of a tumor-suppressing protein called PTEN.

The team's new research shows that miR-17~92 can also be involved in retinoblastoma, although it does not act in the same way, via the PTEN protein, as it does in other types of cancers. Rather, miR-17~92 acts to help cells that lack the tumor-suppressing Rb protein to proliferate.

First the team demonstrated that miR-17~92 is expressed in higher-than-usual quantities in all human retinoblastomas examined and in some mouse retinoblastomas. The authors engineered mice to express high levels of miR-17~92 in their retinas. When coupled with inactivation of Rb family members, expression of miR-17~92 led to extremely rapid and aggressive retinoblastoma. Then they showed that this abundance of miR-17~92 acts to suppress an inhibitor of proliferation, called p21Cip1, which is supposed to compensate for the loss of Rb.

"These findings— which show that miR-17~92 overcomes the cell's attempts to compensate for the loss of Rb—could be similar in other types of cancers," MacPherson said. "This microRNA cluster could represent a new therapeutic target for treating tumors caused by Rb deficiency."

The paper is published today on the journal's website.

David MacPherson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ciwemb.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

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

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>