The findings could help predict whether breast tumors will metastasize and also reveal potential drug targets for preventing metastasis. The study will appear in the May 20th online edition of the Journal of Cell Science.
A few years ago, Einstein scientists discovered a gene called ZBP1 (zipcode binding protein 1), which helps cells to move, grow and organize spatially. "ZBP1 is very active in the developing embryo but largely silent in adult tissues," says Robert H. Singer, Ph.D., professor and co-chair of anatomy and structural biology and co-director of the Gruss-Lipper Biophotonics Center at Einstein. He is one of ZBP1's discoverers and leader of the current study.
Researchers have subsequently found that ZBP1 is reactivated in several types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, and non-small cell lung cancers; but the gene is silenced in metastasizing cancer cells, as was shown by Dr. Singer and another Einstein scientist, John Condeelis, Ph.D., who also is co-chair of anatomy and structural biology and co-director of the Gruss-Lipper Biophotonics Center at Einstein. The purpose of the current study was to find how the ZBP1 gene is activated and silenced and how it influences the spread of breast cancer.
After examining mouse, rat, and human breast cancer cells, Dr. Singer and his team found that ZBP1 silencing occurs when a methyl group (CH3) attaches to ZBP1's promoter region (the segment of a gene where gene expression is initiated). The attachment of CH3 prevents the promoter from binding to a protein called beta-catenin. And without beta-catenin, the ZBP1 gene is effectively silenced.
The study also showed that the silencing of ZBP1 increases cancer cells' ability to migrate and promotes the proliferation of metastatic cells.
The findings have important implications for forecasting breast cancer outcomes. According to the researchers, signs of ZBP1 silencing in breast cancer cells would indicate that a breast tumor is likely to spread©¤information that would help in choosing a treatment strategy.
The study also points to potential targets for drug treatment. "If you could turn on this protein in cancer cells, or prevent it from being turned off, you could seriously reduce the ability of the cells to metastasize," says Dr. Singer.
The research team is investigating whether the ZBP1 gene in cancer cells could be reactivated¡ªand the cells prevented from metastasizing¡ªby selectively removing CH3 from the ZBP1 promoter.
The paper, "Increased proliferation and migration of breast metastatic cells results from ZBP1 repression by blocking beta-catenin promoter binding," is published in the May 20, 2009, online edition of the Journal of Cell Science. Wei Gu, M.D., Ph.D., instructor in anatomy and structural biology at Einstein, is the lead author. Feng Pan, Ph.D., now at NYU School of Medicine, is a co-author.
Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
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...
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...
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...
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...
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....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences