Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers identify cancer-causing gene involved in aggressive leukemia, lymphoma

17.05.2004


Using genetically engineered mice, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center have identified a gene that functions as a cancer-causing gene (or oncogene) and may play a key role in the development of leukemia and other cancers in children and adults.



Their study, published in the May 15 issue of Cancer Research, focused on the HMG-I gene, whose protein product is overexpressed in several human cancers, but whose exact role in the formation and development of these diseases had been unknown.

Using seven genetically engineered, or transgenic, mice designed to overexpress the HMG-I gene in the lymphoid tissues and white blood cells, the Hopkins researchers found that each mouse quickly developed cases of leukemia and lymphoma similar to these diseases in humans.


"The early onset of cancerous tumors in 100 percent of these mice provides the most direct evidence for the link between overexpression of the HMG-I gene and cancer," says Linda Resar, M.D., a pediatric hematologist at the Children’ Center, and the study’s senior author.

The seven transgenic mice carried between one and 28 copies of the HMG-I gene. All of the mice developed lymphoid tumors and died between the ages of 1 and 8.5 months.

One of the mice was successfully bred to establish a line of genetically engineered mice, each of which also developed lymphoid malignancies. In most cases, lymphoma was found in the animals’ thymus, spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes and peripheral blood, all of which is consistent with a leukemia-like disease process. In another segment of the study, the researchers also found that the HMG-I gene was overexpressed in bone marrow samples from patients with leukemia.

Resar says it is not yet known how overexpression of HMG-I interferes with normal cell growth and leads to the development of cancer in either mice or humans. She speculates that since the gene’s proteins are involved in a process known as transcriptional regulation, in which cells decide which genes to use to make proteins, increased expression of HMG-I may alter the expression of those genes involved in regulating cell growth, in turn leading to cancerous transformations.

"We believe the transgenic mouse used in this study will also provide a valuable tool for determining how overexpression of the HMG-I gene leads to cancer cell growth and for identifying new therapeutic targets for the treatment of human cancers. Much work remains to be done," she says.

The study was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society. Several of the study co-authors were also supported by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Hopkins contributors to the study were Yi Xu, Takita Felder Sumter, Raka Bhattacharya, and Abeba Tesfaye, from the divisions of Hematology, Pediatrics and Oncology; Ephraim J. Fuchs from the Division of Oncology; David L. Huso from the Division of Comparative Medicine; and Lisa J. Wood, currently with the Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Nursing.

Staci Vernick Goldberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht To proliferate or not to proliferate
21.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Discovery of a Primordial Metabolism in Microbes
21.03.2019 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

To proliferate or not to proliferate

21.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Magnetic micro-boats

21.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Motorless pumps and self-regulating valves made from ultrathin film

21.03.2019 | HANNOVER MESSE

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>