Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein abundant in human tumors confers resistance to anticancer drugs

24.02.2004


Scientists report that a protein made in excess in the majority of human tumors plays a significant role in the ability of cancer cells to resist traditional treatments. The research study, published in the February issue of Cancer Cell, provides new insight into the biology of cancer cells and may have a significant impact in the design of future, more effective cancer treatments.



Tumor formation results when cells divide in an unregulated fashion and many chemotherapeutic agents are thought to work by inducing apoptosis, a complex process of cell death, to halt proliferation of malignant cells. It is known that most cancer cells do not undergo apoptosis under many stress conditions that would trigger apoptosis in healthy cells, including chemotherapeutic treatments. However, the details of the biology underlying drug action and why some cancers are drug resistant are not well understood. A research team led by Dr. Donald Kufe from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts examined the role of a protein called MUC1 in drug resistance in cancer cells. The level of MUC1 is substantially elevated in most human tumors. Normal levels of MUC1 are thought to play a role in cell repair after damage, inhibiting cell death and promoting generation of new cells. The researchers found that high levels of MUC1 protein, as is found in cancer, reduces traditional apoptosis signals, blocks the apoptotic response to toxic anticancer agents and confers resistance to treatment in animal tumor models. Further, reduction of MUC1 in lung and breast cancer cells is associated with increased sensitivity of these cells to anticancer drugs.

The researchers conclude that abnormal overabundance of MUC1 in human tumors promotes cancer cell survival, even in the presence of agents that normally induce cancer cell death. "We believe that our findings will lead to a better fundamental understanding of cancer biology and treatment. We have uncovered a mechanism in which what appears to be a normal physiological mechanism to protect healthy cells against apoptosis during stress-induced repair could be exploited by human tumors to survive under adverse conditions. In addition, because MUC1 reduces the normal apoptotic response to DNA damaging agents, it is an attractive target for design of future cancer therapeutics," explains Dr. Kufe.



Jian Ren, Naoki Agata, Dongshu Chen, Yongqing Li, Wei-hsuan Yu, Lei Huang, Deepak Raina, Wen Chen, Surender Kharbanda, and Donald Kufe: "Human MUC1 carcinoma-associated protein confers resistance to genotoxic anticancer agents"

Published in Cancer Cell, February 2004, Volume 5, Number 2, pages 163-176.

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht A new approach to targeting cancer cells
20.05.2019 | University of California - Riverside

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: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plumbene, graphene's latest cousin, realized on the 'nano water cube'

23.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

New flatland material: Physicists obtain quasi-2D gold

23.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

New Boost for ToCoTronics

23.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>