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:2/3/2016)... , February 3, 2016 ... new market research report "Automated Fingerprint Identification System Market ... Latent Search), Application (Banking & Finance, Government, Healthcare, and ... by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth ... of 21.0% between 2015 and 2020. The transformation and ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors for ... Market Are you interested in the future ... for checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those predictions ... and national level. Avoid falling behind in ... opportunities and revenues those emerging cancer therapies can ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... , Feb. 1, 2016  Today, the first ... (AHA) announced plans to develop a first of its ... power of IBM Watson. In the first application of ... IBM (NYSE: IBM ), and Welltok will create ... health assessments with cognitive analytics, delivered on Welltok,s health ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ... and monetization of intellectual property, today provided an update ... the Northern District of Texas ... Inter Partes Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings that ... The IPR was initiated on only certain claims of ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Many of the engineers at ... years. What sets them apart from other cuvette manufacturers is their supercharged customer ... website. On top of this steady flow of inside information, they have recently ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016 Ascendis Pharma A/S ... that applies its innovative TransCon technology to address significant ... an upcoming investor conference.Event:2016 Leerink Partners Global Healthcare Conference ... , Wednesday, February 10, 2016 Time:  , 11:55am ... . --> An audio webcast of this ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... ProMIS Neurosciences is currently in ... to misfolded, propagating strains of Amyloid beta involved in Alzheimer’s disease. The Company ... , Following on from the first misfolded Amyloid beta target announced on Nov. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: