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:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global ... of around 8.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/17/2017)... Iowa (PRWEB) , ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... component of its long-standing innovation strategy. A website (openinnovation.pioneer.com) dedicated to ... five strategic areas – trait discovery, plant breeding, enabling technologies, biologicals and digital ...
(Date:7/14/2017)... ... 14, 2017 , ... Sonic Manufacturing Technologies is proud to ... a solar system on its roof top. “We will be independent of the ... Raab stated. The company’s proud history of social responsibility and participation in the ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... IN (PRWEB) , ... July 13, 2017 , ... Thousands ... July and August for the National Aeromodeling Championships (Nats). Pilots come to Muncie to ... try to earn spots on US teams that participate in world championships. , RC ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... ... July 13, 2017 , ... Frederick’s first and ... robust growth in the past year after an intensive restructuring. Under the leadership ... Programs and expanded its board of directors to revitalize the organization. As a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: