Navigation Links
New molecules discovered that block cancer cells from modifying cell DNA
Date:10/11/2007

Lake Tahoe, CA, October 11, 2007 Researchers have discovered new small molecules that may prevent prostate cancer cells from turning off normal genes in a process that transforms normal cells into cancer cells. This significant discovery in the field of epigenetics has immediate implications in the development of new diagnostic tests and cancer medications. The findings were presented today at the Prostate Cancer Foundations annual Scientific Retreat. Funding for the research was provided by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, as well as from the National Cancer Institute and the Avon Foundation.

Epigenetics refers to changes to genes other than changes to the DNA sequence itself, such as the addition of molecules to the DNA strand. While the development of cancer can arise from defective or mutated genes, it can also arise from these changes that can actually prevent a cell from acting as it should. Cancer cells exploit this process, putting some genes in cold storage or turned off by modifying the cell DNA in a process known as methylation.

Lead researcher William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Oncology and Urology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, explained the findings. One of the proteins in the cell that triggers this process is called a methyl-CpG binding protein, or MBD. We have discovered an antagonist of MBD2 that keeps this protein from binding to methylated genes. If the protein cant bind to the gene, then it cant keep the gene turned off and the gene is turned back on able to act in the way it is supposed to.

Nelson noted that the discovery is particularly exciting because of previous research that shows the importance of being able to alter the methylation process in DNA. When mice were developed without the gene that permits this process, they dont develop cancer. When the gene is removed from cancer cells, they turn on genes again in appropriate ways. The small molecules that weve discovered mimic this process, so they may be very exciting lead candidates for the next generation of drugs that may help restore gene function in prostate cancer, said Nelson.

This entire field of exploration has been tantalizing for a decade, said Nelson, but has only begun to deliver fruit in just the past couple of years. This mechanism of action permits us to look for much more targeted therapies for prostate cancer, and for other cancers as well, such as breast cancer.

The promise of this field is evident in the current pipeline of diagnostic and therapeutic products in development. There are diagnostic tests being tested that focus on detecting the methylated DNA, which would permit prostate cancer diagnosis at an earlier stage and in a more precise manner. There is also a first generation of FDA-approved medications that work to reverse the methylation process in cancer cells. They include azacitine (Vidaza) and decitabine (Dacogen), both for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome, diseases in which the production of blood cells by the bone marrow is disrupted. Vorinostat (Zolinza) also works to turn back on silenced genes, and is approved for use in cutaneous T cell lymphomas.

Dr. Nelson noted that the Prostate Cancer Foundation funding was essential for the research that resulted in this discovery. PCF supported our research at a time when it was a very new idea. Their investment permitted us to make critical discoveries that have not only put us along the pathway this field -- hopefully one day resulting in new drugs -- but that also allowed us to secure competitive research funding from the National Cancer Institute, explained Nelson.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sharon Reis
prostate@gymr.com
202-745-5103
GYMR
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. DNA Molecules Used To Assemble Nanoparticles
2. Inflammatory molecules released by pollen trigger allergies
3. Duke Chemists Isolating Individual Molecules Of Toxic Protein In Alzheimers, Parkinsons Disease
4. Medical molecules designed to respond to visible light that can penetrate tissue
5. Touching Molecules With Your Bare Hands
6. DNA constraints control structure of attached macromolecules
7. Team Invents Device For Weighing Individual Molecules
8. Scientists discover that three molecules may be developed into new Alzheimers drugs
9. Physical and functional interaction of key cell growth molecules linked to cancer
10. Scientists discover new way to look at how molecules twist and turn on water
11. Scientists learn to predict protein-stabilizing ability of small molecules
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2017)... N.Y. , March 27, 2017  Catholic ... Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for ... EMR Adoption Model sm . In addition, CHS ... of U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical record ... for its high level of EMR usage in ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric ... of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle Anti-Theft System ... over the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion by 2025. ... forecasts for all the given segments on global as well as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... Crucial Data ... sites and study participants truly unified. TrialKit, a native mobile app, empowers investigators ... 11) research studies entirely on mobile devices. With TrialKit, clinical researchers can utilize ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... Merck, a leading science and technology company, has implemented Genedata Biologics ™ ... therapeutic areas of Oncology, Immunology, and Neurodegenerative Diseases. , The need to systematically ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... Washington, DC (PRWEB) , ... July 18, 2017 ... ... for the Allotrope Framework, and has released the first phase of the Allotrope ... Bio-IT World’s Best Practices Awards were created to “not only elevate the critical ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) will host Aviation ... will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the International Aeromodeling Center ... , Aviation Adventure Day will be packed with entertaining activities for the entire family. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: