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 Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>