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 World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

Leipzig HTP-Forum discusses "hydrothermal processes" as a key technology for a biobased economy

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers create new technique for manipulating polarization of terahertz radiation

20.07.2017 | Information Technology

High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing

20.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

First direct observation and measurement of ultra-fast moving vortices in superconductors

20.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>