“Zinc plays a critical role in our bodies functioning properly,” said Dr. Min Li, assistant professor of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at BCM, and lead author of the study. “Zinc must be regulated through proteins called zinc transporters to keep us healthy.”
A previous study by one of Li’s collaborators, Dr. Craig Logsdon, professor and Lockton Distinguished Professor for Pancreatic Cancer Research at M.D. Anderson, identified high levels of ZIP4 in pancreatic cancer tissue. Li’s current study confirmed those findings and also showed that overexpressed ZIP4 increases zinc uptake by the cell, which results in significantly increased tumor growth.
“We need to put these in a big picture and look at the zinc and zinc transporters as a whole in regulating pancreatic cancer growth. There is no simple answer at this point on the role zinc itself is playing,” said Li.
“This study shows strong evidence that the zinc transporter is over expressed in pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Changyi (Johnny) Chen, Molecular Surgery Endowed Chair, professor of surgery and vice chair for research in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at BCM. “Our next step for research will ask why this happens in pancreatic cancer.”
Results showed that 16 of the 17 pancreatic cancer specimens and seven of the eight cell lines grown in the laboratory had higher levels of ZIP4 than healthy tissues and normal pancreatic ductal cells. Researchers then introduced ZIP4 protein into the one pancreatic cancer cell line that did not already over express the molecule. Compared to the original line, the new cells accumulated 73 percent more zinc and significantly increased tumor growth.
This is the first comprehensive study to focus on pancreatic cancer and zinc transporters which has not been previously described. More research is needed before doctors know if limiting or targeting zinc or ZIP4 would affect the progression of pancreatic cancer.
“This study has tremendous impact on pancreatic cancer research because it not only suggests a novel diagnostic marker, but also indicates a candidate for cancer vaccine development” said Dr. Qizhi (Cathy) Yao, professor of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery and molecular virology & microbiology at BCM.
“Identifying this molecule as being related to tumor growth opens up a door for us, “said Logsdon. “Our hope is that this will lead to a target for new treatments and therapies.”
Graciela Gutierrez | EurekAlert!
Can 'smart toilets' be the next health data wellspring?
13.11.2019 | Morgridge Institute for Research
Novel mathematical framework provides a deeper understanding of how drugs interact
13.11.2019 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.
New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...
If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.
Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...
Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...
In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.
An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...
05.11.2019 | Event News
30.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
14.11.2019 | Materials Sciences
14.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
14.11.2019 | Information Technology