Navigation Links
K-State research team investigates mutated gene's role in breast cancer
Date:8/9/2010

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- A microscopic gene may play a gigantic role when it comes to cancerous tissue in the human body, according to one Kansas State University research team.

The team is investigating mutation within the ADAM12 gene of the A Disintegrin and Metalloprotease family, or ADAM family, and its role in breast cancer.

"We want to know whether ADAM12 is a good guy or a bad guy in breast cancer," said Anna Zolkiewska, associate professor of biochemistry and research team leader.

If researchers can answer this question about ADAM12, Zolkiewska said it could lead to more effective therapies and treatments due to a better understanding of cancer's components. This, however, hinges on discovering the exact nature of ADAM12, about which little is known. Research has uncovered some interesting information -- and raised more questions, Zolkiewska said.

"Typically human cells have very little ADAM12 protein, but the abundance is suddenly very high in cancer tissue," she said. "When we look even closer, we find a very high level of ADAM12 expression in what we call cancer stem cells. Those cells are the most vicious as they drive the tumor growth."

Although chemotherapy and radiotherapy kill tumors, they are ineffective on the cancer stem cells, Zolkiewska said. Without being surgically removed from the body, the stem cells will grow another tumor over the course of a few years. This again raises the question as to the role of ADAM12.

"Is it helping that tumor re-grow or is it trying to prevent it?" Zolkiewska asks.

Perhaps the most perplexing question the team hopes to solve is why the ADAM12 gene mutates inside cancer tissue.

"Mutation means that one letter in the DNA within the cell has changed," Zolkiewska said. "This is very striking because there are only a handful of human genes that are changed that way in tumors. ADAM12 is one of those genes and the only one among that family."

Zolkiewska said this raises the questions of whether the gene's mutation in cancer tissue is purely a coincidence or is part of a larger role. Prior research by the team indicates ADAM12 is a "good guy" since mutation to the gene effectively kills ADAM12 protein.

"A tumor wants to grow, and from the point of view of the tumor, you want to invade and kill the patient. So you will first take care of those good guys, or those policemen inside the body who protect the patient," Zolkiewska said. "If ADAM12 is one of those good guys, the growing tumor wants to take it out of the picture."

This discovery of mutation rendering ADAM12 dead was a scientific first by the K-State team.

Zolkiewska recently was awarded a three-year grant of $444,000 from the National Institutes of Health to further the research. The grant's title is "Structure-Function Analysis of Breast Cancer-Associated Mutations in ADAM12."

Assisting Zolkiewska in the research are Sara Duhachek Muggy, Manhattan, a graduate student in biochemistry, and Hui Li, who is conducting postdoctoral work. Zolkiewska credited a large portion of the team's findings to Emilia Solomon, Los Alamos, N.M., a December 2009 biochemistry doctoral graduate.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Zolkiewska
zolkiea@k-state.edu
785-532-3082
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. K-State research: Freshwater pollution costs US at least $4.3 billion a year
2. Researchers to use K-States BSL-3 Lab for $1 million study of fungus threatening wheat crops
3. K-State biologist collaborating with researchers in Africa on grassland sustainability, biodiversity
4. K-State researchers help Epitopix license the United States first E. coli O157 vaccine for cattle
5. K-State researchers work with university in Ghana to create biofuels from native tree seeds
6. K-State using Second Life island to help high school students learn earth science
7. K-State researcher finds 1918 flu resulted in current lineage of H1N1 swine influenza viruses
8. K-State host to workshop on rapid methods to detect microorganisms in food
9. Researchers from around the globe coming to K-State June 21 for workshop on Fusarium fungus
10. K-State plant pathologists develop online teaching modules used globally
11. K-State researcher, collaborators study virulence of pandemic H1N1 virus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/14/2016)... AVIV, Israel , April 14, 2016 ... Behavioral Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment ... already assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership ... BioCatch, on the heels of the deployment of its ... addition, BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring ... , M.D., who returned to the company in October ... team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , ... and Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... 22, 2016 According ... Market for Consumer Industry by Type (Image, Motion, ... (Communication & IT, Entertainment, Home Appliances, & ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... reach USD 26.76 Billion by 2022, at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects ... the two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which ... "In certain areas ... have common economic goals, why not sit down and address ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers ... the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are ... to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced ... granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food ... gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin ... to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has ... Association to serve as their official health care ... Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, ... coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. "We ... Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality services ...
Breaking Biology Technology: