Navigation Links
Gene discovery could improve treatment for acute myeloid leukemia
Date:8/13/2012

August 13, 2012 ─ (BRONX, NY) ─ Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have made a discovery involving mice and humans that could mean that people with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a usually fatal cancer, are a step closer to new treatment options. Their study results were published online today in Cancer Cell.

"We have discovered that a gene called HLX is expressed at abnormally high levels in leukemia stem cells in a mouse model of AML," said Ulrich Steidl, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of cell biology and of medicine at Einstein and senior author of the paper. (Gene expression is the process by which a gene synthesizes the molecule that it codes for; an "over-expressed" gene makes its product in abnormally high amounts.)

According to the National Cancer Institute, AML will be diagnosed in one of every 254 people during their lifetime. Most die within a few years of diagnosis. For the last several decades there has been little improvement in the survival rate for AML patients.

Dr. Steidl and his colleagues found that over-expression of the HLX gene in mice caused blood-forming stem cells to become dysfunctional and develop into abnormal progenitors (biological ancestors) of white blood cells that failed to differentiate into normal blood cells. Instead, those early, abnormal white cells formed duplicates of themselves.

The researchers then analyzed HLX expression data collected from 354 AML patients and found that 87 percent of them were over-expressing HLX compared with HLX expression in healthy individuals. And among patients expressing HLX at high levels in an even larger cohort of 601 patients: the greater their degree of HLX expression, the worse their survival chances.

Importantly, when Dr. Steidl's team used a laboratory technique to "knock down" HLX expression in AML cells taken from a mouse model of AML and from AML patients, proliferation of leukemia cells was greatly suppressed in both cases. And when the researchers knocked down HLX expression in mouse AML cells and human AML cells and then transplanted both types of cancer cells into healthy mice, those mice lived significantly longer compared with mice that received unaltered AML cells.

These findings suggest that targeting elevated HLX expression may be a promising novel strategy for treating AML.

"HLX is clearly a key factor in causing the over-production of white cells that occurs in AML," said Dr. Steidl. "Our research is still in its early stages, but we're looking towards developing drugsso we can improve treatment for AML and possibly other types of cancer." Einstein has filed a patent application related to this research. The HLX technology is available for licensing.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kimberly Newman
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New discovery of how carbon is stored in the Southern Ocean
2. Gene discovery set to help with mysterious paralysis of childhood
3. 3-D tumor models improve drug discovery success rate
4. OHSU discovery may lead to new treatment for ALS
5. Groundbreaking discovery of mechanism that controls obesity, atherosclerosis
6. Discovery may lead to new tomato varieties with vintage flavor and quality
7. 7 pharmaceutical companies join academic researchers to speed TB drug discovery
8. Discovery increases understanding how bacteria spread: U of A study
9. NSF Leadership in Discovery and Innovation sparks White House US Ignite Initiative
10. Groundbreaking discovery of the cellular origin of cervical cancer
11. Astellas and DNDi to collaborate on new drug discovery research for the treatment of NTDs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is ... partnership with VoicePass. By working together, ... experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different ... engines increases both security and usability. ... excitement about this new partnership. "This ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and ... global partnership that will provide end customers with ... banking and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... area for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, former senior vice ... University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective June 27. , ... with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes and participating in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid biopsy ... PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) ... test has already been incorporated into numerous clinical ... Over 230 clinical trials are investigating ... PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... supplements, is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into ... for over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
Breaking Biology Technology: