Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brain gliomas progress as function of crucial gene is lost

07.04.2003


For the first time, researchers are characterizing the molecular processes that turn brain cancer deadly, and their work may result in a diagnostic test that can predict patient survival.



The research, by scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center demonstrates that degree of loss of a crucial tumor suppressor gene, the AP-2( transcription factor, correlates with progression of different human gliomas.

For example, researchers found that normal brain tissue, as well as grade II gliomas, maintained expression of AP-2(, whereas 96 percent of grade III glioma, and almost 99 percent of grade IV glioma had lost AP-2(.


"Although previous molecular markers have been identified in malignant gliomas, none have exhibited such a strong correlation with progression, indicating the pivotal role of this gene," says Amy Heimberger, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery.

The findings one day may be clinically important, says Eric McGary, M.D., Ph.D., a clinical fellow.

If validated through further study, the results can help scientists devise a diagnostic test to check for loss of function of the AP-2( gene, which can help doctors and patients know about treatment options. "No such test exists like that now," he says. Dr. Heimberger is following the long-term survival of patients within the various grades of gliomas to determine if loss of the AP-2( confers a more serious prognosis.

McGary led the effort to characterize how cancer develops when the AP-2( gene, which normally protects against cancer development, is lost. They have found that other tumors such as melanoma become increasingly deadly when the gene is no longer active, and have described its role in breast and prostate cancer as well.

The AP-2( transcription factor controls the expression of many genes, including c-Kit, which regulates cellular proliferation and differentiation, MUC18, an adhesion molecule involved in angiogenesis, and MMP2, which is involved in invasion. When AP-2( is lost, less c-Kit, but more MUC18 and MMP2 are produced, resulting in an increased potential of the cell to grow and divide uncontrollably.

"As such, AP-2( acts as a tumor suppressor gene," says Menashe Bar-Eli, PhD, professor in the Division of Cancer Medicine and a senior member of the research team.

Looking at tumor samples taken from 279 patients with different kinds of brain cancer, the research team used a tissue array constructed by Dr. Gregory Fuller, associate professor in the Department of Pathology, to look for AP-2( gene expression.

In addition to their findings of different stages of gliomas, they found that 21.5 percent of oligodendrogliomas did not express AP-2(, but this increased to 66 percent in cases of anaplastic oligodendrogliomas.

The team also looked at glioblastomas, which are the most common malignant brain tumors in adults and are the most resistant and deadly of all brain cancers to treat. They found that none of the four different glioblastoma cell lines they tested expressed any detectable levels of AP-2(.

"The discovery of the ubiquitous loss of AP-2( in high-grade malignant gliomas provides a unique target for new therapies aimed at restoring the function of that gene," says Heimberger. "We are already looking at trying to replace AP-2( function in animal models with gene therapy in order to slow down growth of the tumor," McGary added.

Laura Sussman | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

nachricht How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>