Navigation Links
Lack of 'gatekeeper' protein linked to skin cancer
Date:5/18/2011

New research from North Carolina State University shows that a "gatekeeper" protein plays an important role in skin-cancer prevention in humans and lab mice.

The protein, C/EBP alpha, is normally abundantly expressed to help protect skin cells from DNA damage when humans are exposed to sunlight. The NC State research shows, however, that the protein is not expressed when certain human skin cancers are present.

Moreover, when the protein is inactivated in special lab mice exposed to small amounts of the UVB solar radiation, the mice become more susceptible to skin cancer.

Dr. Robert Smart, professor of environmental and molecular toxicology at NC State and the corresponding author of a paper in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology describing the research, says that C/EBP alpha serves as an important "pause button" in cells. If there is any DNA damage, C/EBP alpha halts the cell-replication process to allow time for cells to repair themselves to prevent DNA errors from occurring.

"Loss of C/EBP alpha expression is associated with some of the most common human cancers, including breast and colon cancer," Smart says. "We think it may also have a role in tumor suppression in these cancers via its gatekeeper function."

In the study, the researchers found that human skin expresses C/EBP alpha as does the pre-cancerous, benign lesion called actinic keratose the precursor to skin cancer.

"C/EBP alpha is expressed in normal human skin and in pre-cancerous actinic keratoses, but something happens when cancerous lesions appear the protein is not expressed," Smart says. "We then asked, 'Is the loss of C/EBP alpha contributing to tumor formation?' The answer seems to be yes."

Smart and colleagues exposed hairless, genetically modified mice bred with C/EBP alpha inactivated to low doses of the UVB solar radiation. The mice were highly susceptible to certain common types of skin cancer squamous cell carcinomas with these cancerous tumors developing and growing rapidly.

"If you can figure out how to keep C/EBP alpha turned on, maybe the tumor would stay in its pre-cancerous state," Smart says.

Smart adds that figuring out how the protein fulfills its gatekeeper role and how and why the protein is inactivated in cancerous cells marks the next step in his research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Robert Smart
rcsmart@ncsu.edu
919-515-7245
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New path to water efficient seeds opens as TIP pips PIP as water gatekeeper
2. Protein could offer target to reduce lung damage from smoking-caused emphysema
3. UT Southwestern researchers find protein that might be key to cutting cancer cells blood supply
4. Researchers show heparan sulfate adjusts functions of growth factor proteins
5. Weizmann Institute scientists discover: A protein that contributes to obesity
6. Illinois professor chairs committee that recommends immediate calories, protein for TBI
7. Several baffling puzzles in protein molecular structure solved with new method
8. Discovery identifies elaborate G-protein network in plants
9. Researchers combine active proteins with material derived from fruit fly
10. Researchers get a first look at the mechanics of membrane proteins
11. Polarized microscopy technique shows new details of how proteins are arranged
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/22/2016)... MINNETONKA, Minn. , Nov. 22, 2016   ... that supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is ... by Medical LiveWire Healthcare and Life Sciences Awards ... This award caps off an unprecedented year of recognition ... clinical trials for over 15 years. iMedNet ...
(Date:11/16/2016)... , Nov. 16, 2016 Sensory Inc ... and security for consumer electronics, and VeriTran ... and retail industry, today announced a global partnership ... way to authenticate users of mobile banking and ... TrulySecure™ software which requires no specialized biometric ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the ... on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The ... coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... Nov. 30, 2016  The Allen Institute for ... the first publicly available collection of gene edited, ... target key cellular structures with unprecedented clarity. Distributed ... powerful tools are a crucial first step toward ... understand what makes human cells healthy and what ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016  Tempus, a ... cancer care, and Penn,s Abramson Cancer Center have ... a positive response to immunotherapy treatment based on ... As part of a research collaboration, Tempus ... and melanoma cancer patient data to Penn. Utilizing ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , 30. November 2016   Merck ... heute die Unterzeichnung einer Reihe von Vereinbarungen ... wird Evotec AG Screeningleistungen für Mercks Palette ... Der Zugriff auf diese Bibliotheken in Kombination ... einen schnelleren Weg zur Ermittlung und Erforschung ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... --  Merck , a leading science and technology company, ... of agreements with Evotec AG, whereby Evotec AG will ... such as CRISPR and shRNA libraries. Combining access to ... pathway to explore and identify new drug targets. ... targets, a process that can be time- and labor-intensive," ...
Breaking Biology Technology: