Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nuclear receptors reveal possible interventions for cancer, obesity

11.01.2011
UH's Jan-Ake Gustafsson publishes key findings in 2 high-impact journals

Research with significant implications in the treatment and intervention of cancer and obesity has been published recently in two prestigious journals by University of Houston (UH) biochemist Dr. Jan-Åke Gustafsson.

In an invited review in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the most-cited biomedical research journal in the world, Gustafsson and his team summarize the most recent results pertaining to the function of a nuclear receptor called estrogen receptor beta, or ERbeta, the biological and medical importance of which Gustafsson and his associates discovered in 1995. In the article, titled "Estrogen Signaling via Estrogen Receptor Beta," the group found that this regulatory molecule prevents what is called epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, or EMT, in the prostate gland. EMT is believed to have an essential role in prostate tumor development. ERbeta also has a growth-suppressive effect in colon cancer cells.

All of this, added to new insights gained by the researchers regarding ERbeta's interaction with certain genetic materials, suggests that this molecule is potentially an interesting pharmaceutical target in many diseases, including cancer.

A second article by Gustafsson and his group appeared in a recent issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the world's most-cited multidisciplinary scientific serials. Titled "Both liver-X receptor (LXR) isoforms control energy expenditure by regulating Brown Adipose Tissue activity," the research shows that two specific nuclear receptors – LXRalfa and LXRbeta – act in such a way as to indicate they have a crucial role in regulating energy homeostasis, which is important to maintain the stability of normal biological states during adjustments to environmental changes. Gustafsson suggests, then, that these molecules should be considered as targets in pharmaceutical intervention against obesity.

Both studies were performed in collaboration with Gustafsson's colleagues from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, where he continues his duties as a member of the Center for Biotechnology at Huddinge University Hospital at the Karolinska Institute. He also holds an appointment as an adjunct professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Since 2009, his primary duties are as the Robert A. Welch Professor in UH's biology and biochemistry department and director of the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, a collaborative effort between UH and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute.

In addition to holding both a Ph.D. and M.D., Gustafsson was recently invited by the University of Turku in Finland to accept an honorary doctorate from its faculty of medicine during the institution's graduation ceremony to be held in May.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: High-resolution photos of Jan-Åke Gustafsson are available to media by contacting Lisa Merkl.

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a comprehensive national research institution serving the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. UH serves more than 38,500 students in the nation's fourth-largest city, located in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region of the country.

About the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

The UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, with 181 ranked faculty and approximately 4,500 students, offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in the natural sciences, computational sciences and mathematics. Faculty members in the departments of biology and biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, earth and atmospheric sciences, mathematics and physics conduct internationally recognized research in collaboration with industry, Texas Medical Center institutions, NASA and others worldwide.

For more information about UH, visit the university's Newsroom at http://www.uh.edu/news-events/.

To receive UH science news via e-mail, sign up for UH-SciNews at http://www.uh.edu/news-events/mailing-lists/sciencelistserv/index.php.

For additional news alerts about UH, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UHNewsEvents and Twitter at http://twitter.com/UH_News.

Lisa Merkl | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uh.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Hygiene at your fingertips with the new CleanHand Network
25.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

nachricht Scientists discovered 20 new gnat species in Brazil
24.09.2018 | Estonian Research Council

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Matter falling into a black hole at 30 percent of the speed of light

24.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA balloon mission captures electric blue clouds

24.09.2018 | Earth Sciences

New way to target advanced breast cancers

24.09.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>