Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New target for skin cancer confirmed

14.07.2003


A University of Minnesota study has confirmed the pivotal role of an enzyme known as JNK2 in the development of nonmelanoma skin cancers. The findings suggest that JNK2 should be evaluated as a target for the prevention and treatment of such cancers. Lead author Zigang Dong, director of the university’s Hormel Institute in Austin, Minn., will present the work at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, July 13, at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, D.C.

Ultraviolet rays from the sun are the major culprit in skin cancer, which accounts for more than half the cancers in the United States. The process of cancer development involves a chain of interactions among biochemicals in the skin, and biochemicals that play key roles in carcinogenesis make potential therapeutic targets. Many human cancers show elevated activity in some form of JNK enzyme, and the enzyme is also activated by sunlight, Dong said.

"Even if one goes into the sun for a few minutes, the activity of JNK in the epidermis rises," said Dong. "If you go out for a few minutes, JNK activity doesn’t stay elevated. But it looks as though if a person gets too much sun exposure, JNK activity becomes permanently elevated and cancers develop. This study indicates that some form of JNK activity is a key step in the process by which nonmelanoma cancers grow."



Working with mice, Dong and his colleagues focused on two enzymes known to be activated by factors that cause cells to divide and that have been considered important in skin cells’ response to UV light. Of the two enzymes, called JNK1 and JNK2, only the latter turned out to play an important role in the development of tumors.

The researchers used two lines of mice that had been rendered enzyme-deficient by inactivation of the gene for either JNK1 or JNK2 in fertilized mouse eggs. When the mice were two months old, the scientists applied a chemical carcinogen to the skin of their backs, followed by five-times-a-week exposure to UVB light, the ultraviolet light that causes skin cancer. At 31 weeks of age, a much smaller percentage of JNK2-deficient mice had tumors (18 percent), compared to control mice (48 percent) or JNK1-lacking mice (50 percent). At 40 weeks of age, the percentage of tumor-bearing JNK2-deficient mice had almost doubled, to 35 percent, while the percentage rose more slowly in control mice (to 56 percent) and JNK1-deficient mice (to 73 percent).

The data suggest that when JNK2 is lacking, skin cells are inhibited, or at least delayed, in their response to UVB light.

"Knocking out the JNK2 enzyme could simply delay the response to ultraviolet light, but if so, it would be significant," Dong said. "If we age enough, every one of us will get cancer. But if we can delay the process, that’s good progress."

The researchers also studied the biochemistry of skin and embryonic cells from the mice. They found that UVB light and a chemical known to promote tumor formation induced biochemical activity associated with cell division and tumor growth in control mice and JNK1-deficient mice, but not in JNK2-deficient mice.


The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Contacts:

Zigang Dong, Hormel Institute director, (507) 437-9600

Deane Morrison, University News Service, (612) 624-2346

Deane Morrison | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umn.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>