Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein can help cells or cause cancer

09.07.2009
A Purdue University scientist has discovered a key process in cell growth that can lead to the formation of tumors.

Xiaoqi Liu, an assistant professor of biochemistry, found that an overabundance of the polo-like kinase 1, or Plk1, molecule during cell growth, as well as a shortage of the p53 molecule, will lead to tumor formation. Studies in Liu's laboratory showed that the Plk1 molecule indirectly attacks p53 in a process called ubiquitination.

"This provides the mechanism for how p53 loses its function in cancer cells," said Liu, whose work was published in the early online publication of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. "If we understand how the cancer forms, then we can create a more useful therapeutic approach to treating that cancer."

During cell growth, Plk1 uses its protein kinase activity called phosphorylation, which consists of adding a phosphate group to a protein called Topors. Topors binds itself to p53 molecules during the ubiquitination process. Phosphorylation is basically an instruction from Plk1 to increase its ubiquitination activity, which kills p53 molecules.

Liu said p53 could be thought of as a protective force. When Topors kills off that force, Plk1 becomes stronger, allowing the cells to become cancerous.

"We're trying to understand how p53 is regulated. We want to keep p53 as normal as possible," Liu said. "In about 50 percent of cancers, p53 had lost its function, and there was too much Plk1. Since Plk1 is overexpressed in cancers, it is a cancer therapy target."

Topors can also carry out a function called sumoylation, in which Topors binds to p53 molecules and creates more p53. Liu was able to force cells in his lab to go through the ubiquitination or sumoylation process to show how p53 molecules were affected.

Liu said it is unknown why the Plk1 molecule chooses to initiate ubiquitination over sumoylation.

Researchers from Sichuan University in China and faculty in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at Purdue collaborated with Liu on the research. The work was funded through a Howard Temin Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Liu said the next step in the research is to test different Plk1 inhibitors to see how they affect the phosphorylation process.

Writer: Brian Wallheimer, 765-496-2050, bwallhei@purdue.edu

Source: Xiaoqi Liu, 765-496-3764, xiaoqi@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Steve Leer, sleer@purdue.edu
Agriculture News Page

Brian Wallheimer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.purdue.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>