Xiaoqi Liu, an assistant professor of biochemistry and member of Purdue's Center for Cancer Research, and graduate student Shawn Liu are focusing on the function of a gene called Polo-like kinase (Plk1), a critical regulator of the cell cycle. Plk1 is also an oncogene, which tends to mutate and can cause cancer.
The researchers found that later-stage prostate cancer cells are missing Pten, a tumor-suppressor gene. The loss of Pten causes problems during cell division. Instead of the parent cell giving equal copies of DNA to two daughter cells, those new cells receive disproportionate amounts, causing mutations.
"This turns out to be a major driving factor in future cancer," said Xiaoqi Liu, whose findings were published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. "Without Pten, there is huge potential to become a cancer cell."
When Pten is diminished, the cells become stressed. To compensate, they increase production of Plk1, which causes rapid cell division.
"That's usually a hallmark of cancer formation," Xiaoqi Liu said.
This particular type of later-stage prostate cancer is troublesome because the cells do not respond to drugs aimed at stopping cell division and metastatic cancers spread to other areas. When Pten is missing, Xiaoqi Liu said, those drugs actually increase the production of more Plk1.
To test the theory that Plk1 is a key to cancer formation, the researchers tested a Plk1 inhibitor called BI 2356 on both human cancer cells and mice. In both tests, some cancer cells had Pten present while others had lost it.
In both cases, the cells without Pten responded to the drug.
"In later stages of prostate cancer, cells have lost Pten," Xiaoqi Liu said. "This means the Plk1 inhibitor can be a good drug for treatment of those tumors."
Xiaoqi Liu said tests also showed that BI 2536 could also be effective at low dosages, meaning side effects might be less severe.
Next, the researchers will try to replicate the findings in another mouse model. The National Institutes of Health funded the research.
Contributing to the research were: Timothy Ratliff, the Robert Wallace Miller Director of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research; Stephen Konieczny, a Purdue professor of biological sciences; Bennett Elzey, a Purdue assistant research professor in comparative pathobiology; Bing Song, a Purdue graduate student in biological sciences; Liang Cheng, an Indiana University professor of pathology; and Nihal Ahmad, a University of Wisconsin professor of dermatology.Writer: Brian Wallheimer, 765-496-2050, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Wallheimer | EurekAlert!
Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover
First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
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...
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....
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...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences