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 They have found that other tumors such as melanoma become increasingly deadly when the gene is no longer active, and have described its role in breast and prostate cancer as well.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 Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

nachricht Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

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

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>