Scientists report that a protein made in excess in the majority of human tumors plays a significant role in the ability of cancer cells to resist traditional treatments. The research study, published in the February issue of Cancer Cell, provides new insight into the biology of cancer cells and may have a significant impact in the design of future, more effective cancer treatments.
Tumor formation results when cells divide in an unregulated fashion and many chemotherapeutic agents are thought to work by inducing apoptosis, a complex process of cell death, to halt proliferation of malignant cells. It is known that most cancer cells do not undergo apoptosis under many stress conditions that would trigger apoptosis in healthy cells, including chemotherapeutic treatments. However, the details of the biology underlying drug action and why some cancers are drug resistant are not well understood. A research team led by Dr. Donald Kufe from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts examined the role of a protein called MUC1 in drug resistance in cancer cells. The level of MUC1 is substantially elevated in most human tumors. Normal levels of MUC1 are thought to play a role in cell repair after damage, inhibiting cell death and promoting generation of new cells. The researchers found that high levels of MUC1 protein, as is found in cancer, reduces traditional apoptosis signals, blocks the apoptotic response to toxic anticancer agents and confers resistance to treatment in animal tumor models. Further, reduction of MUC1 in lung and breast cancer cells is associated with increased sensitivity of these cells to anticancer drugs.
The researchers conclude that abnormal overabundance of MUC1 in human tumors promotes cancer cell survival, even in the presence of agents that normally induce cancer cell death. "We believe that our findings will lead to a better fundamental understanding of cancer biology and treatment. We have uncovered a mechanism in which what appears to be a normal physiological mechanism to protect healthy cells against apoptosis during stress-induced repair could be exploited by human tumors to survive under adverse conditions. In addition, because MUC1 reduces the normal apoptotic response to DNA damaging agents, it is an attractive target for design of future cancer therapeutics," explains Dr. Kufe.
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
22.05.2018 | Life Sciences
22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News