Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Small molecules can starve cancer cells

11.10.2011
All cells in our body have a system that can handle cellular waste and release building blocks for recycling.

The underlying mechanism is called autophagy and literally means "self-eating". Many cancer cells have increased the activity of this system and the increased release of building blocks equip the cancer cells with a growth advantage and can render them resistant towards treatment.

"We have discovered a small molecule that can block autophagy in different cancer cells and specifically, this molecule can increase the sensitivity of breast cancer cells towards one of the most commonly used treatments for breast cancer," says Professor Anders H. Lund, at BRIC, University of Copenhagen.

The results have just been published in EMBO Journal: "microRNA-101 is a potent inhibitor of autophagy, Frankel et al."

Our own anti-cancer molecule
The molecule that the researchers have studied is called microRNA-101 and is found naturally in our cells. In cancer research, there is currently a large focus on both autophagy and microRNA molecules, which can control our genes and both mechanisms are known to play an important role for cancer development.

"We have shown that microRNA-101 can turn off specific genes and thereby inhibit autophagy in cancer cells. The fact that microRNA molecules can regulate autophagy is quite new and our results disclose a large and interesting field within cancer research" says researcher Lisa Frankel, who has been leading this research project in Anders H. Lund's laboratory.

Breast cancer treatment
MicroRNA-101 is often lost in liver cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer. By controlling the level of microRNA-101 in cells of different cancer types, the researchers from BRIC show that microRNA-101 regulates autophagy. In addition, the researchers have shown that breast cancer cells become more sensitive towards treatment with the anti-hormone Tamoxifen, when they via microRNA-101 turn off the autophagy system.

"This result has a clear clinical relevance, as resistance against tamoxifen is a large problem in the treatment of breast cancer," says Anders H. Lund.

The next step of the researchers is to investigate whether other microRNA molecules are involved in the regulation of autophagy in cancer cells. Further, they will take a closer look at the role of microRNA-101 in normal development of our organism and in the development of cancer.

Contact:
Professor Anders H. Lund, BRIC
Phone: +45 35325657
Mobile: +45 30662303
E-mail: anders.lund@bric.ku.dk
Postdoc Lisa Frankel, BRIC
Phone: +45 35325813
E-mail: lisa.frankel@bric.ku.dk

Dian Land | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

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...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

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....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>