Navigation Links
Suppressing cancer with a master control gene
Date:2/23/2009

Starting with the tiny fruit fly and then moving into mice and humans, researchers at VIB and K. U. Leuven show that expression of the same gene suppresses cancer in all three organisms. Reciprocally, switching off the gene called Ato in flies and ATOH1 in mammals leads to cancer. The authors show there is a good chance that the gene can be switched on again with a drug. They report their findings in two papers in the leading online open access journal PLoS Biology.

All of us begin our lives as a single cell (made when an egg and sperm fuse) which repeatedly divides into the few billion cells that constitute an adult human. During these divisions cells become increasingly differentiated from each other, until in an adult almost all cells are highly specialized to perform a specific function skin cells, liver cells, eye lens cells, nerve cells, etc. Cancer is a collection of cells without a function, which grow when normal genetic controls of cell division are interrupted. Cancer cells are less differentiated than normal cells leading to the hypothesis that the final steps of differentiation prevent cells from becoming cancerous.

New work conducted by Wouter Bossuyt, Bassem Hassan, and colleagues at VIB and K. U. Leuven has tested this theory. They demonstrate that in the fruit fly, master control genes steering the specialization step inhibit tumor formation.

In collaboration with colleagues from the United States, they show that loss of one of those genes, Atonal homolog 1 (ATOH1), causes colon cancer in mice. The gene regulates the last step in the specialization to epithelial cells of the colon. Humans with colon cancer frequently have an inactivated ATOH1 gene, the researchers show.

The researchers could reactivate the gene in human colon cancer cells grown in culture. This caused the tumor cells to stop growing and commit suicide. This exciting, but preliminary, result suggests that it may be possible to switch the gene back on in living patients to target their cancers. Taking this work in the test tube and using it to develop a therapy is an exciting but complicated challenge. Therefore, more work will be required to further understand the role of ATOH1 in suppressing cancer formation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sally Hubbard
press@plos.org
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Link between unexploded munitions in oceans and cancer-causing toxins determined
2. Researchers identify gene linked to aggressive progression of liver cancer
3. New lab evidence suggests preventive effect of herbal supplement in prostate cancer
4. New test for breast cancer will help guide treatment choices
5. Rural areas able to increase screening capacity for colorectal cancer
6. Statin therapy ineffective in breast cancer prevention
7. More than a million cancer survivors declining care due to cost concerns
8. Hispanic women and breast cancer: An understudied group
9. Compounds could be new class of cancer drugs
10. UNC study: Tinkering with the circadian clock can suppress cancer growth
11. Stroma genomic signature predicts resistance to anthracyclin-based chemotherapy in breast cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Crossmatch ® , a leading ... today announced the addition of smart features to ... multi-factor authentication platform. New contextual and application-specific authentication ... security where it,s needed most — while minimizing ... . --> Washington, DC ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... DE SOTO, Kansas , March 3, ... Plus® to offer Oncimmune,s Early CDT®-Lung, a blood ... detection of lung cancer Early CDT®-Lung test ... individuals. --> Early CDT®-Lung test to its ... --> Oncimmune, a leader in early cancer detection, ...
(Date:3/1/2016)... , March 1, 2016  (RSAC Booth #3041) – ... a whopping $118 billion is lost to false positives, ... and inaccurate fraud detection. At the RSA Conference 2016, ... way companies handle authentication by devaluing the data fraudsters ... analytics. --> --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... The Board of Directors of ... John Tilton as Chief Commercial Officer.  Mr. Tilton joined Biohaven from Alexion Pharmaceuticals, ... leaders responsible for the commercialization of multiple orphan drug indications. Mr. Tilton ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group and the ... as other research and development initiatives for potential stem cell protocol management for 2016 ... Cells Group executives began meeting to establish a working agenda and foster initiatives to ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... ... The European Patent Office (EPO) today announced that U.S. Biophysicist ... Inventor Award 2016 in the category "Non-European countries." The winners of the 11th edition ... on June 9th. , The human capacity to walk with fluidity is the sum ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Seattle based non-profit, The Institute for Venture ... The grant will be used to further the scientific research goals of the ... http://www.ivsci.org , In accounting the grant to the IVS, Mr. Glenn Estrabillo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: