Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Natural killer cells exhibit increased antitumor activity through CDK8 deletion

11.04.2018

The human immune system uses natural killer (NK) cells as a weapon against cancer and virus-infected cells. A higher activity of the NK cells corresponds directly to a higher effectiveness in fighting tumors. Researchers at Vetmeduni Vienna, in a study published in Cancer Immunology Research, have now shown that it is possible to enhance NK cell activity even further by deleting the CDK8 gene. Until now, CDK8 is known to have an important role in the formation of tumors, where its activity is often amplified. Inhibiting CDK8 activity is the object of several current studies.

Decades have been spent investigating how cancer cells manage to reproduce while evading the control of the immune system. So-called immunotherapies are currently being researched as a way to strengthen the body’s immune system response against tumors. Researchers from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Vetmeduni Vienna, with first author Agnieszka Witalisz-Siepracka, have made important progress in this direction.


Symbolic photo: With specially designed mice it was shown that Natural Killer cells are activated against Tumors without the Protein CDK8.

Vetmeduni Vienna

They show how the activity of NK cells against tumors can be enhanced through the deletion of the CDK8 gene. CDK8 is a cyclin-dependent kinase that controls several vital functions within human cells. When CDK8 is hyperactive, it can result in cell transformation.

In their study in Cancer Immunology Research, the researchers focused on the tumor surveillance system. They were able to show that CDK8 plays a special part in NK cells, where it suppresses their activity. By deleting CDK8, the research team succeeded in significantly restricting tumor growth in mice. Witalisz-Siepracka draws the following conclusions: “Deletion of CDK8 led to increased activation of the NK cells. You could say they became ‘armed’. Their ability to kill grew and the tumor shrank.”

This study builds on a previously published study by the same research group in which the researchers had postulated that CDK8 has a pivotal role in the killing activity of NK cells in cell culture models. Now they have gone an important step further by transferring their knowledge to tumor growth in vivo. “This had not been confirmed in a living organism before,” says Witalisz-Siepracka. “Because there are currently a number of preclinical studies on the development of CDK8 inhibitors, we wanted to determine the effects CDK8 deletion would have on the NK cells.”

“Arming” an immunological weapon through the deletion of CDK8

The researchers obtained their research results by using specially designed mice with selective deletion of CDK8 in NK cells. “We need a new class of CDK8 inhibitors for immunotherapy. Such an inhibitor would have to trigger the breakdown of the entire CDK8 protein. In addition to the tumor cell-intrinsic effect, the immune system would also be activated to fight the tumor cells. The result would be a double blow against the cancer cells.” Senior author Veronika Sexl summarizes the findings: “Degradation of CDK8 could be a promising way to fight tumors using the body’s own arsenal.”

Service:
The article “NK Cell-Specific CDK8 Deletion Enhances Antitumor Responses” by Agnieszka Witalisz-Siepracka, Dagmar Gotthardt, Michaela Prchal-Murphy, Zrinka Didara, Ingeborg Menzl, Daniela Prinz, Leo Edlinger, Eva Maria Putz and Veronika Sexl was published in Cancer Immunology Research.
http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2018/03/20/2326-6066.CIR-...

About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of Veterinary Sciences in Europe. About 1,300 employees and 2,300 students work on the campus in the north of Vienna which also houses five university clinics and various research sites. Outside of Vienna the university operates Teaching and Research Farms. The Vetmeduni Vienna plays in the global top league: in 2017, it occupies the excellent place 8 in the world-wide Shanghai University veterinary in the subject "Veterinary Science". http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at

Scientific Contact:
Agnieszka Witalisz-Siepracka
Institute of Pharmacology and Toxikology
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-2900
agnieszka.witalisz-siepracka@vetmeduni.ac.at

Released by:
Georg Mair
Science Communication / Corporate Communications
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-1165
georg.mair@vetmeduni.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/infoservice/presseinformation/presse-releases-2018...

Mag.rer.nat. Georg Mair | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>