Navigation Links
Scientists uncover role for cell scaffold in tumor formation
Date:6/6/2011

A group of scientists at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Cincia, in Portugal, have uncovered a surprising link between the cell's skeleton and organ size. The team, led by Florence Janody, show in the journal Development(*), that one of the proteins that regulates the skeleton of the cell also acts to blocks activation of genes that promote cell survival and proliferation. Their findings have implications for cancer research, as they add to the puzzle of understanding how proliferation genes are abnormally activated, often leading to tumours.

During development of an embryo, cells proliferate and organs grow. This process is tightly regulated, at several levels, to ensure that organs do not outgrow the body they are in. One of the key regulators in this process is the Hippo complex of proteins - first identified in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Mutant flies, in which this complex is defective are larger than their counterparts - they are hippopotamus-like. A search for analogous genes uncovered a similar role for the Hippo complex in mammals - organs grow larger than they should. In adults, this abnormal and untimely growth often leads to tumour formation.

A flurry of papers has shown that the Hippo complex itself is regulated by a range of signaling inputs within the cell. Florence Janody's group identified a new, and unexpected input: the cell skeleton (called cytoskeleton), in particular one of its proteins, the actin-capping protein.

Using Drosophila larvae, the IGC team showed that when the actin-capping proteins are inactive, there is overgrowth of tissue in the area that will become the adult wing. This growth is reminiscent of tumour formation. The researchers dissected the different steps in the process that lead to abnormal growth. Inactivating actin-capping proteins leads to accumulation of actin, a major component of the cytoskeleton; this reduces the activity of the Hippo complex, leaving another protein, Yorkie, free to act on the DNA in the nucleus, turning on proliferation genes.

The cytoskeleton serves several functions in a cell: it provides structure, motility (allows cells to move, change shape and divide) and membrane traffic (transport of proteins and other large molecules within the cell). The actin protein forms cables that crisscross the cell. The cables are constantly being elongated and shortened at their ends. The actin-capping proteins are involved in this process.

In Florence's words, ' What we've revealed is that the cytoskeleton needs to be very tightly regulated within the cell, to prevent abnormal growth in the larvae. Since Hippo is also turned on in the adult and in mammals, we believe these findings provide insights into how this process may be manipulated in human cells, with a view to preventing tumour formation, or blocking its progression'.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ana Godinho
agodinho@igc.gulbenkian.pt
351-214-407-952
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Scientists use super microscope to pinpoint body’s immunity switch
2. Scripps Research scientists find way to block stress-related cell death
3. Scripps Research scientists find key mechanism in transition to alcohol dependence
4. Harvard scientists see the early cellular cause of dry eye disease for the first time
5. Scientists crack the spiders web code
6. Scientists discover fossil of giant ancient sea predator
7. Scientists discover the largest assembly of whale sharks ever recorded
8. Syracuse University scientists discover new hitch to link nerve cell motors to their cargo
9. Scientists list top 10 new species
10. Scientists find new drug target in breast cancer
11. Wildlife in trouble from oil palm plantations, according to scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists uncover role for cell scaffold in tumor formation 
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to ... ) , The analysts forecast the ... CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... number of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... global gait biometrics market is expected to grow ... 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple variables ... to compute factors that are not or cannot ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the development of novel compounds designed to target ... compound, napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation ... in the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal ... cancer stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 A person commits a crime, ... scene to track the criminal down. An outbreak ... and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used ... investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce ... Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the Peel ... President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: