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 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

nachricht A new approach to high insulin levels
18.09.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

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: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>