Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Identify the "Bin Laden" of Cancer Causing Faulty Proteins

13.05.2002


Researchers in the University of Warwick’s Molecular Medicine Research Centre have found the “Bin Laden” of cancer causing faulty proteins. They have undermined the old complex model of how many cancers start and identified a single protein known as c-Myc as a “mission-critical target for effective cancer therapies.”



Fighting cancer is similar to the war against terrorism. Current cancer models suggest that a network of several cell mutations is needed to begin a cancer. Both terrorism and current models of cancer have complex origins that make it difficult to find simple causes or easy targets that can be tackled to solve either problem. Treatment of developed cancers also resembles the methods used to deal with established terrorist networks - aggressive therapies to destroy the cancer/terrorism with high risks of damage to healthy tissue/ non combatants.

But new work by Dr. Stella Pelengaris, and Dr Mike Khan at the University of Warwick’s Molecular Medicine Research Centre has undermined the old complex model of how a cancer start and identified a single protein known as c-Myc as a “mission-critical target for effective cancer therapies.”


c-Myc is a protein which when switched on grows more cells when the body needs them. Sometimes it fails to switch off or switches itself on when it is not wanted. Normally our bodies have a fail safe mechanism which causes cells to commit suicide if c-Myc malfunctions in this way. This switching on of c-Myc and the failure of the cell suicide mechanism are two of the mutations required to start a cancer. However many researchers currently believe that many more mutations are also required if a cancer is to develop, for instance a mutation for developing a new blood supply required to nourish the growing cancer and mutation to allow cancerous cells to escape, travel the body and spread the cancer etc.

The researchers were not convinced by the need for a complex set of mutations and decided see what would happen if they introduced to pancreatic cells just the two mutations that would create the uncontrolled c-Myc. Their experiments showed that they were correct and that within days a cancer was established just by switching on the c-Myc to build more unwanted cells and inhibiting the cells suicide fail safe mechanism.

Dr Pelengaris said "People think cancer is very complicated, that you need half a dozen genetic lesions in order to get invasion. Our research provides a much more optimistic model. We`ve simplified it. We`re saying that cancer isn`t as complicated as people first thought." c-Myc may be one of several "mission-critical targets for effective cancer therapies.”

The researchers find several parallels between uncontrolled c-Myc and Bin Laden. This research makes c-Myc one of the biggest target for those seeking to develop cancer therapies. However, like Bin Laden, it is now a big target but not the only important cause (though elevated c-Myc levels are found in the majority of cancers).

Lastly like Bin Laden it is still best to catch and deal with the problem early before extensive support networks are developed. This research finds that cancer can have simple non complex causes that give us more optimism in developing forms of treatment - but if they are not detected early enough cancers can still develop a complexity that is difficult to defeat.

Peter Dunn | alphagalileo

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

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: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>