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 They have found that other tumors such as melanoma become increasingly deadly when the gene is no longer active, and have described its role in breast and prostate cancer as well.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 Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

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: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>