Navigation Links
Controlling for size may also prevent cancer
Date:9/20/2007

Scientists at Johns Hopkins recently discovered that a chemical chain reaction that controls organ size in animals ranging from insects to humans could mean the difference between normal growth and cancer. The study, published in the Sept. 21 issue of Cell, describes how organs can grow uncontrollably huge and become cancerous when this chain reaction is perturbed.

This chain reaction, a domino-like chain of events we call the Hippo pathway, adds a single chemical group on a protein nicknamed Yap, says lead author Duojia Pan, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular biology and genetics. The good news is that maybe all organ growth can be reduced to this one chemical event on the Yap protein but the better news is that we potentially have a new target for cancer therapy.

Pan and colleagues previously had discovered in fruit flies that too much Yap supercharges growth-inducing genes and causes organs to overgrow.

In the new study designed to see if the same effect occurred in mammals, the research team genetically altered mice to make high levels of Yap protein, but only in liver cells. These animals livers grew to be five times the size of a normal mouse liver and often were dotted with large tumors.

We were totally amazed, says Pan. Five times is just a huge effect. When the researchers next looked at a variety of human cancer cells, they found that 20 percent to 30 percent contained increased levels of Yap. We think it might be the extra Yap in these cells contributing to their cancerous growth, says Pan.

Yap, like most proteins, exists in more than one form, in this case two, one with and one without a chemical phosphate tag attached. Such tags can dramatically alter what proteins do in the body.

When the Hopkins team engineered the cells to stop or slow growth, Yap in those cells has its phosphate attached and moves from the nucleusthe brain center of the cellinto the main body of cells, or cytoplasm.

A drug that somehow turns off Yap might also stop cancer cells from growing, says Pan, and manipulating the Hippo pathway could provide a way to grow organs to a pre-determined size for transplantation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Audrey Huang
audrey@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Controlling protein diversity
2. Scientists find that protein controls aging by controlling insulin
3. Gene controlling circadian rhythms linked to drug addiction
4. Enzyme affects hypertension by controlling salt levels in body
5. Controlling wildlife trade key to preventing health crises, study says
6. Liquid crystals show promise in controlling embryonic stem cells
7. Important gene controlling tree growth and development found
8. Key gene controlling eye lens development identified
9. Electronic chip, interacting with the brain, modifies pathways for controlling movement
10. Edge density key to controlling gypsy moth spread
11. Key gene controlling kidney development found
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On April ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s ... exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health and ... Hack the Genome is the ... been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- higi, the health IT company that operates the largest ... , today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross ... new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create ... health activities through the collection and workflow integration of ... and secures data today on behalf of over 36 ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative ... ... Maldives Immigration ... Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses ... EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... Phase ... metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available Hi-C kit. Researchers can ... Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing the company’s full-service ProxiMeta ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... Boston, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... spotlight female entrepreneurship within the healthcare and technology sector at their fourth annual ... six panels featuring 30 inspiring speakers and the ELEVATE pitch competition showcasing early ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... October 05, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of ... world, is giving back to cancer research with a month-long promotion supporting the advancement ... October 31, shoppers can use promo code PinkRibbon to get 10 percent off their ...
Breaking Biology Technology: