Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Astrocytes Appear to Play an Important Role in Brain Tumors

17.06.2011
A special group of glial cells which have the form of stars and are therefore called astroglial cells or astrocytes, seem to play a crucial role in brain tumor development and dissemination.

This was pointed out by Dr. Florian Siebzehnrubl (University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, USA) on Friday, June 17, 2011, at the Brain Tumor Meeting in the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany.

In his presentation, Dr. Florian Siebzehnrubl from Professor Dennis Steindler’s laboratory illuminated the interaction between tumor stem cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM). The latter holds the tissue together and blocks the invasion of tumor cells. During the development of the nervous system, astrocytes form barriers mediated by the ECM. These immature astrocytes have similarities to neural stem cells.

“Cells that are similar to these immature astrocytes can also play a role in brain tumors,” Dr. Siebzehnrubl said. The reason is that these immature astrocytes are very similar to stem cells. Several years ago the Steindler lab was the first to discover cancer stem cells in glioblastoma, the most common and most aggressive form of brain tumors. The scientific consensus is that such tumor stem-like cells can initiate cancer and are also to blame for the fact that tumors can recur despite treatment.

“The ECM plays a key role in the development and spread of brain tumors,” Dr. Siebzehnrubl said, and he also presented new findings on a brain tumor cell that possesses a unique molecular profile (ZEB1) and which is involved in resistance to many current chemotherapeutics and thus involved in brain tumor recurrence.

A few years ago, the laboratory of Professor Helmut Kettenmann of the MDC in collaboration with the neurosurgeon Dr. Darko S. Markovic (Helios Klinikum Berlin-Buch) and Dr. Michael Synowitz (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin) showed that microglia degrade the ECM by means of specific proteases, thus enabling glioblastomas to infiltrate the brain.

In a current study using animal models, Professor Steindler and his colleagues Dr. Siebzehnrubl and Dan Silver demonstrated that tumor cells that rapidly infiltrate tissue influence the molecular composition of the ECM differently than those that are less invasive. The researchers suspect that the change in behavior of the ECM may be due to the influence of tumor stem cells.

Therefore first studies are ongoing to modulate the ECM and other cancer-associated molecules so that brain tumors are cordoned off and brain tumor-initiating cells are less migratory, thus keeping them from infiltrating healthy brain tissue.

Barbara Bachtler
Press Department
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
in the Helmholtz Association
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10
13125 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/

Further reports about: ECM Medicine Molecular Target astrocytes brain tumor stem cells tumor cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Chips, light and coding moves the front line in beating bacteria
16.08.2018 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>