Navigation Links
Breaking the mucus barrier unveils cancer cell secrets
Date:3/16/2011

Washington, D.C. (March 16, 2011) -- Measuring the mechanical strength of cancer cell mucus layers provides clues about better ways to treat cancer, and also suggests why some cancer cells are more resistant to drugs than others, according to Kai-tak Wan, associate professor of engineering at Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.

According to Wan, healthy tissues naturally secrete mucus to protect against infection. Cancer cells, however, produce far more mucus than healthy cells.

Mucus consists of protein "stalks" attached to sugar sidechains, or "branches." This tangled brush forms a physical barrier. When over-expressed, it can prevent drugs from reaching the cancer cells beneath. Over-expressed mucus also makes it easier for cancer cells to break away from surrounding cells and move through the body, or metastasize.

Wan's research partner, Robert B. Campbell, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Worcester, Mass., is investigating the use of chemical agents that limit the formation of this tangled mucus barrier so medicines can get through.

To determine how well those agents work, Wan used the nanoscale tip of an atomic force microscope to push against the mucus barrier. The less resistance it encountered, the less tangled the barrier.

Wan found that suppressing the formation of mucus sidechains significantly reduced the energy needed to pierce the mucus barrier in lung, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, and wild type (natural) ovarian cancer cells.

Yet the treatment registered barely any change in multi-drug resistant ovarian cancer cells. No one understands how those cells resist drugs that ordinarily kill wild type ovarian cancer.

Wan's research points to an important difference. The mucus layer formed by the two types of cells reacts differently to the same chemical treatment.

"How this phenomenon is related to biochemistry is unknown at this stage, but it tells us what we should be looking at in future research," Wan said about his and Campbell's conclusions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Charles E. Blue
cblue@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Groundbreaking discovery may lead to stronger antibiotics
2. Breaking the barrier: Discovery of anti-resistance factors and novel ocean drugs
3. NIH funds development of resistance-breaking insecticides to reduce malaria transmission
4. Tufts students host Earth Day with groundbreaking ceremony for solar house
5. Breaking the ties that bind: New hope for biomass fuels
6. UTs Valentin Dragoi gets $1.2 million grant for groundbreaking approach to brain research
7. Research Councils UK sign groundbreaking MoU with Brazil
8. Groundbreaking model of heart disease rewarded with NIH Pioneer Award
9. Groundbreaking Videourology journal launched by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
10. Breaking the aphids code
11. Life Technologies, TGen and US Oncology partner on groundbreaking breast cancer sequencing research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2017)... The global military biometrics market ... by the presence of several large global players. The ... major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS Technology, ... 61% of the global military biometric market in 2016. ... military biometrics market boast global presence, which has catapulted ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April 13, ... ... the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at http://www.nxt-id.com ... http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 According to a new market ... Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, ... Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to ... of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... August 11, 2017 , ... A staple in the community for ... will incorporate important key elements including a new digital marketing strategy and updated logo. ... them, Bill Miller has partnered with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center for ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 11, 2017 , ... ... food production, and, in particular, more natural alternatives to synthetic ingredients,” said Matt ... of Third Wave, with the established manufacturing presence and know-how of Biorigin will ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... Teachers from three Philadelphia ... August 14th through the 16th, the University City Science Center will kick off ... 2016, provides Philadelphia-based middle school educators an opportunity for professional development related to ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... ... Each year in the United States more than 300,000 people are hospitalized for ... even worse, the one-year mortality rate is high, ranging from 12 percent to 37 ... Medical Center (Sacramento) and Second Xiangya Hospital of the Central-South University (Hunan, China) might ...
Breaking Biology Technology: