Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Combination therapy boosts effectiveness of telomere-directed cancer cell death


A new research study published in the January issue of Cancer Cell provides exciting new information about how to boost the effectiveness of a promising cancer treatment that targets telomeres in an attempt to interfere with the ability of a cancer cell to continuously divide.

Telomeres are DNA sequences found at the ends of chromosomes that play a key role in controlling the life span of cells. With every cell division, telomeres get a bit shorter until eventually they become so short that the enzymes that copy DNA for cell division no longer work properly and the cell stops dividing. In a sense, telomeres function as a kind of counting mechanism that regulates how many times a cell can divide.

In contrast to normal cells, cancer cells divide continuously and uncontrollably. Scientists know that cancer cells produce an enzyme, called telomerase, which prevents telomeres from getting too short so cells can keep dividing. Telomerase is not used by healthy cells, and has been identified as a logical target for anticancer therapeutics. However, recent studies indicate that for this therapy to be effective, telomeres must be in a critically short state, requiring an extended treatment duration that can lead to drug resistance and other problems.

Dr. Hiroyuki Seimiya from the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research in Tokyo and colleagues examined what happens to cancer cells when telomerase inhibition is combined with inhibition of an enzyme called tankyrase 1 that is involved in making telomeres accessible to telomerase. The researchers found that both tankyrase 1 activity and telomere shortening decrease the effects of telomerase inhibitors. Importantly, tankyrase inhibition enhanced telomere shortening upon treatment with a telomerase inhibitor and accelerated cancer cell death.

"This study provides insight into strategies for telomere-based molecular cancer therapeutics. We expect that inhibition of tankyrase 1 will compensate for incomplete inhibition of telomerase. Consequently, this strategy would shorten the time period of drug treatment that is required for the onset of telomere crisis and reduce the potential risk of acquired drug resistance, " writes Dr. Seimiya.

Hiroyuki Seimiya, Yukiko Muramatsu, Tomokazu Ohishi, and Takashi Tsuruo: "Tankyrase 1 as a target for telomere-directed molecular cancer therapeutics"

The context and implications of this work are discussed in a Preview by Shay et al.

The other members of the research team include Yukiko Muramatsu of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research in Tokyo; and Tomokazu Ohishi and Takashi Tsuruo of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research and University of Tokyo in Tokyo.

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>