Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists uncover new target in cancer mutation puzzle

20.02.2007
University of Rochester scientists, while investigating the two most frequent types of mutations in cancer, discovered a possible new route to treatment that would take advantage of the mutations instead of trying to repair them. The research is reported online this week in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

In experiments with rodent and human cells, co-authors Mingxuan Xia, Ph.D., and Hartmut Land, Ph.D., explored how the Rho family of proteins, which are involved in cell movement, and thus in the progression from benign to malignant cancer, are controlled by two well-known cancer genes, p53 and Ras.

By closing in on this deadly collaboration, researchers showed for the first time why some molecules such as Rho are targeted by cancer genes – and how they might lead to a promising way to intervene against cancer.

"We have very little understanding of how Ras and p53 or any other potent gene mutations cooperate to cause malignant tumors," said Land, who is professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Genetics and scientific director of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "But we have suspected for a long time that the way to develop rational searches for new drug targets is to first understand how these oncogenes cooperate. And in this study we've shown for the first time that this idea might work."

... more about:
»Mutation »Ras »Rho »p53 »proteins

Land was among the scientists in the mid-1980s who first discovered oncogene collaboration. Since then, his work has focused on the complex interplay necessary for malignancy. And while other researchers, for example, are seeking ways to normalize a faulty gene such as p53, which is involved in half of all human tumors, Land's research group is taking the opposite approach. They are looking for ways to stop tumors by interfering with features of cancer cells dependent upon p53 and Ras mutations.

For cancer to develop, several mutations must arise and collaborate within a single cell. Ras and p53 mutations are particularly dangerous, implicated in colon, pancreas, lung and other cancers. Ras is part of a family that transmits signals controlling the way cells behave. Hyperactive Ras can lead to the uncontrolled growth of tumors. On the other hand, p53 is a tumor suppressor gene. Mutant p53 loses its ability to suppress cancer cells.

The UR team found that when cells were activated with Ras alone, the Rho proteins relocated to the cell membrane, their place of action, but remained inactive and did not cause cell movement. However, when active Ras was in cells that also had a p53 loss-of-function mutation, the Rho proteins became activated by Ras and promoted cell movement.

The experiments showed that when p53 is functioning properly it appears to be able to suppress the Ras signals to Rho, and thus shut down the movement of cancer cells. This was a previously unknown mechanism of action for the p53 gene.

Someday Rho may prove to be an attractive target for therapy because it is highly active only in malignant cells and not in normal cells.

"Now that we understand more about the role of Rho proteins as a target of cooperating cancer gene mutations in tumors with p53 mutations, we will look for other molecules with similar features," Land said. "Our hope is that this line of research will give us a range of novel opportunities for treatments of cancer patients. We are at the beginning of a new and exciting road."

Leslie Orr | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu

Further reports about: Mutation Ras Rho p53 proteins

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: 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....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

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

Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot developed at Ben-Gurion U

19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>