Professor Philip Rudland, Dr Guozheng Wang and Dr Roger Barraclough from the University’s Cancer and Polio Research Fund Laboratories have discovered an additional member of the S100 family of protein genes – S100P – that causes the spread of cancerous cells from an original tumour to other parts of the body.
If present in the primary tumour, metastagenes such as S100P trigger the rapid spread of cancerous secondary tumours to other tissues in the body via the bloodstream – a process known as metastasis. Although primary tumours can be removed surgically, secondary tumours are more difficult to control. This research has been funded by the Cancer and Polio Research Fund.
The new discovery builds on several years’ work carried out at the University to investigate the genes that cause cancerous tumours to travel to other tissues in the body. To date, three other metastasis-inducing genes have been discovered – S100A4, osteopontin, and more recently, AGR2.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often the only options available to treat secondary tumours but these procedures can be problematic to the patient as they can damage other healthy tissue and do not always succeed in eradicating the cancer.
S100P is commonly found in ten different types of normal tissue including the placenta, spleen, colon, ovary, prostate, lung and heart. Scientists believe proteins like S100P function in healthy tissue by increasing the movement of white blood cells around the body. If the protein is found in a cancerous tumour however, it causes the tumour to spread to other tissues.
Professor Rudland said: “It is the spread of cancer from the initial tumour that is the key contributor to death of a cancer patient. Metastagenes are fundamental to this process and can be found in most common cancers, including breast, lung and colon. If these genes are over-expressed in the cancerous tumour, early death of the patient is much more likely.
“The next major step is to develop drugs that will switch off the action of these genes. If we can do this, we can stop the spread of the primary tumour and therefore improve the chances of survival for patients.
“We are grateful for the support given by the Cancer and Polio Research Fund.”
The research is published in the current edition of Cancer Research.
Joanna Robotham | alfa
Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik
Chips, light and coding moves the front line in beating bacteria
16.08.2018 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
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...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences
16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences