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 They have found that other tumors such as melanoma become increasingly deadly when the gene is no longer active, and have described its role in breast and prostate cancer as well.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 Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

nachricht Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

More genes are active in high-performance maize

19.01.2018 | Life Sciences

How plants see light

19.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>