Researchers at the University of Basel took a close look at a signaling pathway present in most organisms and found that it suppresses the formation of specific types of brain tumor. Their results have been published by the journal Cancer Cell.
Gliomas are the most common brain tumors in adults and the prognosis for patients is, in many cases, very bad. Therefore, novel and effective therapies for glioma treatment are needed. In order to develop these, it is crucial to understand the biology of this type of tumor.
Stem cells as potential source of tumors
So far it has been highly debated which brain cells can form gliomas when they acquire gene mutations. However, researchers believe that brain stem cells might be a potential source of this type of cancer. Stem cells in the human brain can generate new nerve cells and, if something goes wrong in this process and uncontrolled proliferation or impaired differentiation occurs, this may lead to the formation of a brain tumor.
A research team led by Professor Verdon Taylor from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel has now studied whether one molecular mechanism that controls normal stem cell maintenance in the brain is hijacked and used by cancer cells during tumor formation.
Active signaling pathway suppresses tumor formation
The researchers studied the so-called Notch pathway. This signaling pathway is central to brain stem cell activity and it has been proposed to – once aberrantly activated – contribute to the growth of gliomas. “In contrast to our expectations, we found that the opposite is the case: when activated, this pathway actually suppresses the formation of some types of glioma”, says Claudio Giachino, first author of the study. Conversely, in some forms of glioma the inactivation of the pathway results in accelerated growth and makes the tumor more aggressive.
Due to these properties, the Notch pathway could, in the future, not only serve as a new therapeutic target but could also be used as a new diagnostic tool in order to get more reliable prognoses for disease progression and patient survival. “Our results demonstrate major differences in the molecular requirements between seemingly similar types of brain tumor and indicate that gliomas must be carefully examined before selecting potentially specific therapeutic interventions in the future”, says Taylor.
Claudio Giachino, Jean-Louis Boulay, Robert Ivanek, Alvaro Alvarado, Cristobal Tostado, Sebastian Lugert, Jan Tchorz, Mustafa Coban, Luigi Mariani, Bernhard Bettler, Justin Lathia, Stephan Frank, Stefan Pfister, Marcel Kool, and Verdon Taylor
A Tumor Suppressor Function for Notch Signaling in Forebrain Tumor Subtypes
Cancer Cell (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2015.10.008
Prof. Dr. Verdon Taylor, University of Basel, Department of Biomedicine, phone: +41 61 695 30 91, email: email@example.com
Reto Caluori | Universität Basel
Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides
16.07.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
The secret sulfate code that lets the bad Tau in
16.07.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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....
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...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
16.07.2018 | Life Sciences
16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy