Navigation Links
Cells united against cancer

Sheets of highly organized epithelial cells line all the cavities and free surfaces of the body, forming barriers that control the movement of liquids and cells in the body organs. The organized structure of normal breast epithelial cells may also serve as a barrier against cancer, according to a study by University of Helsinki scientists. The work appears this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Finnish researchers found that the tightly organized architecture of mammary epithelial cells is a powerful restraint against the cancer gene provoked inappropriate proliferation. Their study also links function of a tumor suppressor gene to the development of cancer gene resistant epithelial organization.

"Rogue cancer genes can force epithelial cells to proliferate and proliferation of malignant cells will certainly disrupt the organized epithelial structure. However, there has always been this chicken or the egg problem: Does cancer gene initiate cell proliferation, which causes disruption of the epithelial structure or does loss of tissue structure come first, creating suitable environment for cancer genes to enforce the cell cycle progression"" explains the research team leader Juha Klefstrom, Ph.D. The present study supports the idea that loss of tissue structure comes first.

Experiments with fly models have shown that loss of epithelial organization can enhance the tumorigenic potential of cancer genes (oncogenes) and these findings prompted Juha Klefstrom's team to explore whether the formation of epithelial organization works other way around and suppresses oncogene function. "We were amazed to find out that the formation of organized mammary epithelial architecture in three-dimensional organotypic cell culture correlated with complete loss of oncogenic activities of c-Myc cancer gene" says Klefstrom.

Johanna Partanen, a graduate student in Klefstrom's laboratory and lead author in the article, continues "We also asked how to dismantle the proliferation resistance of the epithelial organization. To find clues to genes involved in the development of organized epithelial structure, we turned back to fly". Epithelial cells of both flies and humans live their lives in the companionship of others, held together by tight belt of adhesion proteins and interactions with supporting extracellular matrix. Developmental geneticists working with fly models have identified an important group of genes, PAR genes, which regulate the development of highly ordered epithelial cell organization. "Most interesting candidate for us was LKB1, the human homologue of Par4 protein, because this gene has strong connection to human epithelial disorders" says Partanen. Previous research done by Akseli Hemminki, Lauri Aaltonen and Tomi Mkel at the University of Helsinki has linked this gene to Peutz-Jeghers cancer predisposition syndrome and it has also been suggested that LKB1 has tumor suppressor functions in several epithelial cancers. Klefstrom's team found that epithelial cells missing the LKB1 protein are able to form only cancer-like disorganized epithelial structures. This disorganized environment enables c-Myc oncogene to drive inappropriate cell proliferation.

The study demonstrates that organized epithelial structure can suppress malignant actions of cancer genes and identifies LKB1 tumor suppressor gene as an architect of this proliferation resistant organizational plan. The ordered structure of epithelial cells is frequently lost in epithelial tumors, like breast carcinoma, and the study suggests that loss of structure may play more active role in progression of tumors than previously anticipated.


Contact: Juha Klefstrm
University of Helsinki

Related biology news :

1. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
2. Jump-starting T Cells In Skin Cancer
3. Spleen may be source of versatile stem cells
4. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
5. Priming embryonic stem cells to fulfill their promise
6. Lack of enzyme turns fat cells into fat burners
7. Poor prenatal nutrition permanently damages function of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas
8. Emory Study Tests Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Improve Circulation in Legs
9. Elusive HIV shape change revealed; Key clue to how virus infects cells
10. Mouse brain cells rapidly recover after Alzheimers plaques are cleared
11. Transplantation Of Monkey Embryonic Stem Cells Reverses Parkinson Disease In Primates
Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 The research team of ... three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae ... realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, ... cost. ... A research ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... the health IT company that operates the largest health ... today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross BlueShield ... investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create the ... activities through the collection and workflow integration of ambient ... secures data today on behalf of over 36 million ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... SomaGenics announced the receipt of a Phase ... (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially available ... from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s recent ... development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of cell ... for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells have ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee is ... honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. ... world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held February ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics ... at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people ... to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces the ... of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health regimens. ... operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach Mazor ...
Breaking Biology Technology: