FAU researchers discover key factor for the aggressiveness of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive tumour types because it starts forming metastases early. The cancer itself, however, is usually only discovered late.
This leads to a high patient mortality rate. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered why pancreatic cancer and other malignant types of tumours can disseminate so rapidly. The results have now been published in the renowned journal Nature Cell Biology.
The FAU researchers led by Prof. Dr Thomas Brabletz and Dr. Marc Stemmler of the Chair of Experimental Medicine I, with the cooperation of the Department of Medicine 5 – Haematology and Oncology, the Department of Surgery at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, and the Chair of Genetics at the Faculty of Sciences, have discovered that this aggressive type of tumour activates the key factor of an embryonic programme.
This factor, called Zeb1, controls how cells migrate and survive in early embryonic development. Zeb1 is blocked in normal, fully developed cells. But when the factor is re-activated in cancer cells, it has fatal consequences:
The tumour cells disseminate throughout the body and quickly adapt to the changing conditions in their new environment. They can then develop into metastases and form secondary tumours. The cancer assumes an aggressive progression.
If, however, Zeb1 is not activated, cancer cells can no longer adapt to their new environment so easily. This in turn leads to the development of a variant of pancreatic cancer which presents significantly lower metastatic capacity.
This mechanism is also observed in other tumours, such as aggressive forms of breast cancer. The researchers now hope these findings will help them to develop new treatment strategies for combating metastases of pancreatic cancer and other aggressive tumour types.
Angela M. Krebs, Julia Mitschke, Maria Lasierra Losada, Otto Schmalhofer, Melanie Boerries, Hauke Busch, Martin Boettcher, Dimitrios Mougiakakos, Winfried Reichardt, Peter Bronsert, Valerie G. Brunton, Thomas H. Winkler, Simone Brabletz, Marc P. Stemmler and Thomas Brabletz. The EMT activator ZEB1 is a key factor for cellular plasticity and promotes metastasis in pancreatic cancer. Nat Cell Biol, DOI 10.1038/ncb3513 (2017).
M. A. Nieto. News and Views: Context-specific roles of EMT programmes in cancer cell dissemination. Nat Cell Biol, Vol 19 (May 2017).
Prof. Dr. Thomas Brabletz
Boris Mijat | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy