Navigation Links
Biologists find way to reduce stem cell loss during cancer treatment
Date:9/5/2010

Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have discovered that a gene critical for programmed cell death is also important in the loss of adult stem cells, a finding that could help to improve the health and well-being of patients undergoing cancer treatment.

"During chemotherapy or radiation therapy that kills cancer cells by inducing significant DNA damage in their genomes, one of the main side effects for human cancer patients is the depletion of their own adult stem cells, particularly the ones responsible for making new blood and intestine cells. So these patients become anemic, lose appetite and a lot of weight," said Yang Xu, a professor of biology at UC San Diego who headed the team that published its findings in this week's advance online issue of the journal Nature Cell Biology. "If we can prevent the loss of stem cells during cancer therapy, that would be very beneficial for these patients."

Scientists have long known that when normal cells accumulate significant amount of DNA damage, such as during cancer therapy, the tumor suppressor p53 is activated, which leads cells to stop dividing, go into hibernation and undergo a programmed cell death called apoptosis. They've also known that a gene called Puma, an acronym for "p53-unregulated modulator of apoptosis," is critical for p53 to initiate the cell death of DNA-damaged cells.

Using genetically modified mice with persistently activated p53, Xu and his colleagues discovered that, once activated, p53 depletes various adult stem cells, including the ones that are responsible for generating new blood and intestine cells. In addition, Puma is critical for this p53-dependent depletion of various adult stem cells.

"Since p53 is a critical tumor suppressor, you cannot suppress p53 to prevent the depletion of adult stem cells since it will induce cancer," said Xu. "But you can target Puma to prevent p53-mediated depletion of adult stem cells, because a Puma deficiency does not promote the development of cancer. This gives us a nice target for preventing the p53-dependent depletion of adult stem cells in response to DNA damage. If you can suppress Puma function, you can rescue a lot of the adult stem cells that would otherwise be lost after the accumulation of DNA damage such as during cancer therapy."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kim McDonald (858) 534-7572, kmcdonald@ucsd.edu
kmcdonald@ucsd.edu
858-534-7572
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Caltech biologists spy on the secret inner life of a cell
2. Biologists, educators recognize excellence in evolution education
3. Caltech geobiologists discover unique magnetic death star fossil
4. Biologists discover gene behind plant sex mystery
5. Queens University biologists find new environmental threat in North American lakes
6. Biologists learn structure, mechanism of powerful molecular motor in virus
7. Biologists discover link between CGG repeats in DNA and neurological disorders
8. Biologists solve mystery of black wolves
9. Cleaning up oil spills can kill more fish than spills themselves, say Queens biologists
10. Plant biologists discover gene that switches on essence of male
11. Two innovative University of Texas at Austin biologists become HHMI Early Career Scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/27/2017)... , Feb. 27, 2017   Strategic Cyber ... announced it has led a $3.5 million investment in  ... platform. Strategic Cyber Ventures is DC based and is ... Hank Thomas . Ron Gula , also ... Ventures, also participated in this series A round of ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... February 21, 2017 Der weltweite ... wachsen. Nach einem Gespräch mit mehr als 50 Vertretern aus ... zu überwinden gilt, um diese Prognose zu realisieren. ... ... Mobilisierung der finanziellen Mittel für die Biobank, die Implementierung ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... Scientific and Commercial Aspects" to their offering. ... Biomarkers play ... therapy for selection of treatment as well for monitoring the ... disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies and next generation sequencing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/28/2017)... and REYKJAVIK, Iceland , Feb. 28, ... group company and the contract genomics organization enabling precision ... Hannes Smarason has been appointed as the company,s chief executive ... and Alex Fowkes have been named chief ... "WuXi NextCODE is executing on its vision to enable anyone ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... 2017  Xencor, Inc. (NASDAQ: XNCR), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical ... of autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergic diseases and ... quarter and full year ended December 31, 2016 ... business and clinical highlights. "During 2016, ... pipeline by starting five clinical trials across our ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... ... February 28, 2017 , ... The ... well as to their processing and transport properties. With the Litesizer™ 100 ... of samples. The Litesizer™ 100 gives rapid and accurate insight into particle systems, ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 28, 2017 , ... ... trials, yet requires extensive coordination and expertise. Colpitts Clinical Trial Travel and ... 15 years of meeting this unique need within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries ...
Breaking Biology Technology: