Navigation Links
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists trace a novel way cells are disrupted in cancer
Date:10/6/2008

A research team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is clarifying a previously unappreciated way that cellular processes are disrupted in cancer.

Last year, scientists from the same CHSL team discovered that a "splicing factor" called SF2/ASF--a protein that changes the instructions for how other proteins are assembled--can induce tumors in cell cultures. The team's newly published results show that, in ways not yet fully understood, this same splicing factor acts on a group of other molecules that has long been known to affect cancer.

A Cascade of Molecular Interactions Leading to Cancer

Understanding such complex molecular interactions may one day lead to new approaches to cancer treatment. Cancers are enormously complex, and eventually, in most instances, they find ways of disrupting a large fraction of cellular processes. To untangle and reverse the changes, researchers seek to identify sequences of events in which molecules each affect one another in turn, ultimately inducing cancer-cell behavior.

For example, one protein may affect another by chemically disabling it, or by slowing the gene expression that produces it from the "instructions" contained in DNA. A drug that blocks any step in such a "pathway" has a chance to slow or prevent the disease.

Until recently, however, cancer researchers have paid scant attention to factors that affect others through "alternative splicing," a mechanism that changes how DNA instructions are cut and pasted together at the level of RNA intermediaries to form final templates for the production of proteins.

"Splicing is a critical step in gene expression," said Adrian R. Krainer, Ph.D., a CSHL professor who is an expert on RNA splicing. "Like other steps in gene expression, it seems to malfunction in cancer." Last year, Krainer and his colleagues found that several known splicing factors are present at higher-than-normal levels in some tumors. For example, a factor known as SF2/ASF was elevated in more than 20% of lung and colon tumors. Moreover, laboratory cultures of mouse or rat cells developed characteristics of tumors when they were programmed to make higher-than-normal levels of this splicing factor.

Changes in the PI3K-mTOR Pathway

In the new research, Krainer's team looked for specific molecules whose concentrations or enzymatic activities changed in cells in which SF2/ASF induced cancer. They found changes in some proteins in a group known as the PI3K-mTOR pathway, which is well known for its involvement in cancers.

The team speculated that SF2/ASF, as it influences how a gene's instructions are translated into protein, might cause a protein to be assembled without a key section that is normally modified by other proteins in the pathway. Krainer cautioned that the splicing factor may act on other proteins or in other ways in the cell, so further research is needed. Nonetheless, the team's research suggests that measuring SF2/ASF levels could eventually lead to a way to identify patients who will respond to existing drugs that block the PI3K-mTOR pathway.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter Tarr
tarr123@gmail.com
516-367-8455
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Springer bee expert Juergen Tautz wins prize for public communication
2. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging to be published by Springer
3. Springer editor Toshisada Nishida winner of 2 prestigious primatology awards
4. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols highlights gene silencing, cancer cell biology methods
5. 2 Springer authors win important awards from the Ecological Society of America
6. A field guide to the landscape of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
7. Watson-inspired innovation in research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
8. Springer editor honored with top environmental prize
9. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features methods for analyzing genomes and plant cells
10. Mice mothers devote energies to offspring when life is threatened
11. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features classic approaches for analyzing chromosomes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/20/2016)... DALLAS , June 20, 2016 ... criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, ... by the prisons involved, it has secured the ... Corrections (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) ... (4) additional facilities to be installed by October, ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016 ... deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety of ... during the major tournament Teleste, an ... systems and services, announced today that its video security solution ... to back up public safety across the country. The ...
(Date:6/2/2016)...   The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... capability in which consumers will be able to interact with ... via voice or text and receive relevant information about the ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can create ... relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage" or ... is excited to announce the formation of EyGen, ... preclinical ophthalmology assets through proof of concept. EyGen,s ... by Portage Pharmaceuticals Limited and being developed for ... and anterior segment diseases. This agent has the ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... /PRNewswire/ -  Equicare Health Inc ., the leading supplier ... one of the top 100 companies in the 2016 ... distinguishes the top digital health companies across the globe. ... this year continually upgrading our product with the ongoing ... team," says Len Grenier , CEO of Equicare ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... November 2016   Merck , ein ... Unterzeichnung einer Reihe von Vereinbarungen mit Evotec ... AG Screeningleistungen für Mercks Palette genetischer Reagenzien ... auf diese Bibliotheken in Kombination mit Evotecs ... Weg zur Ermittlung und Erforschung neuer Arzneimitteltargets.    ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , ... November 30, 2016 , ... SSCI, the established ... discuss the implications of the latest FDA guidance on pharmaceutical cocrystals as drug ... in Cambridge, MA. , The event follows the successful November 15th event ...
Breaking Biology Technology: