Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UW-Madison researchers identify key to cancer cell mobility

07.11.2002


In the race to cure cancer, researchers look for roadblocks that could stop cancer in its tracks, preventing it from spreading to other parts of the body. Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison may have found that blockade - an enzyme critical to the ability of cells to metastasize, a biological phenomenon by which cells migrate. The findings are published in the Nov. 7 issue of the journal Nature.



"The real, life-threatening problem with most cancers is that they migrate away from the initial site," says Richard Anderson, a UW-Madison pharmacology professor and senior author of the paper. "If we could regulate a cell’s ability to move in a selective way, we may be able to block cancer metastasis."

Researchers have identified several important factors involved in cell migration, but they continue to search for the mechanisms that regulate these key factors. Anderson and his group have found that the enzyme, noted scientifically as PIPKI?661, appears to underpin cells’ ability to move from organ to organ.


Cells can migrate through the body because they have small clusters of proteins called focal adhesions. When these clusters, located on the cell surface, respond to signals from molecules on other cells, they bind to those molecules. Once attached, the focal adhesions can pull the cell forward. Like wheels on a skateboard, these adhesions then give cells the ability to move around the body.

The key to blocking this movement, says Anderson, is inhibiting the assembly of focal adhesions. But, as he adds, these protein clusters result from the activity of several key factors, which receive their signals from a number of sources - proteins inside the cell or molecules outside it. To block focal adhesion assembly, one would have to block this other activity.

The key to doing that appears to be the enzyme, PIPKI?661, identified by Anderson and his colleagues, Kun Ling and Renee Doughman.

"What we’ve identified is an enzyme that regulates the assembly of focal adhesions," says Anderson. "Researchers have been looking for this enzyme for years."

PIPKI?661 interacts directly with two key proteins (FAK and talin) involved in focal adhesion assembly. At the same time, PIPKI?661 also generates an important second messenger (P14,5P2) that Anderson says both regulates a number of important proteins inside the cell and stimulates their ability to form focal adhesions.

Because of this enzyme’s central role in regulating the factors involved in the assembly of focal adhesions, the researchers say it provides a promising target for developing drugs to prevent cancer cells from metastasizing.

"PIPKI?661 is like one of those circular (traffic) intersections in Italy and England," says Anderson. "There are all sorts of signals feeding in and out of it, and the traffic never stops." Changing the design of the intersection, he says, could change the flow of those signals.

By blocking the activity of PIPKI?661 - the intersection of focal adhesion assembly - cancer cells could become immobile, thereby unable to migrate to other parts of the body.

"Exactly how cancer cells metastasize has been poorly understood," says Anderson. "This discovery is a real breakthrough that could really have an impact."


- Emily Carlson, (608) 262-9772, emilycarlson@wisc.edu

Richard Anderson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>