Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Preventing cancer: Scientists identify a useful piece of JNK

06.03.2003


The JNK signaling pathway allows cells to respond to changes in their extracellular environment and in doing so, controls many aspects of cell function including cell proliferation, differentiation and death. Studies have also shown that this pathway plays a role in cancer, although it has been unclear whether active JNK signaling can accelerate or protect cells from becoming cancerous. Several studies using cultured cells have suggested that JNK signaling may be important for promoting tumor cell development, while studies of tumors from human patients have indicated that JNK signaling may act to suppress tumor development.



Dr. Davis and colleagues set out to address the role of JNK signaling in tumor formation using cells from mice that have been engineered to be deficient in JNK signaling. They demonstrated that in vitro, JNK signaling does indeed play a role in transforming normal cells into those displaying the characteristics of tumor cells.

However, when they moved their experiments into a mouse model of tumor development, it was clear that JNK signaling is not required for tumor formation. In fact, the scientists actually found the opposite - that the absence of JNK signaling resulted in a dramatic increase in the number and growth of tumors when compared to control animals. This result suggests that in vivo, JNK signaling acts to suppress tumor development.


The scientists went on to examine how JNK signaling puts the brakes on tumor development and protects from disease. "The mechanism of action of JNK in tumor suppression involves the induced suicide of the defective cells that are destined to become tumor cells," explains Dr Davis. Cell suicide (or apoptosis) of unhealthy cells is a key protective mechanism against the development of cancer. In the mice studied in these experiments, loss of JNK signaling prevented apoptosis of unhealthy cells and thus promoted tumor cell survival.

Dr. Davis also comments on the implications of these findings: "Our study indicates that mutations in the JNK signaling pathway genes in human tumors may contribute to malignant cancer progression. It is likely that this information will be useful for diagnosis and for the design of appropriate treatment strategies." He points out that attempts to target anti-cancer drugs to inhibit the JNK pathway should be treated with caution, as in some cases this is likely to do more harm than good. Finally, he offers a word of caution: "Our conclusions are limited to the analysis of mice with a single type of cancer.

Further studies are required to extend our conclusions to humans and to the study of other types of cancer." Nevertheless, the work offers new insights into the cellular changes underlying some cancers and underscores the need for in vivo experiments to better understand the role of specific signaling.

Michele McDonough | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

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

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>