Navigation Links
VCU Massey discovery could lead to breakthrough for non-small cell lung cancer
Date:12/3/2010

Richmond, Va. (Dec. 3, 2010) Research at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center led by Charles E. Chalfant, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular Biology, discovered a previously unknown mechanism in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells that contributes to their ability to maintain and grow tumors. Narrowing in on this mechanism could provide a breakthrough for the development of effective therapies for NSCLC and other cancers.

The findings, recently published in Journal of Clinical Investigation, provide the first example of a protein factor regulating the expression of the protein caspase-9, a main player in apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Scientists have known that healthy cells favor caspase-9a, a form of the caspase-9 protein that promotes natural apoptosis. What Chalfant and his research team found is that NSCLC cells favor caspase-9b, which is the anti-apoptotic form of caspase-9 that promotes tumor formation, growth and maintenance. Their further investigation discovered that a protein known as hnRNP L functions as an RNA splicing factor by promoting the expression of caspase-9b through a process known as RNA splicing. While hnRNP L was previously known to have a role in protein expression, its function in relation to cancer biology was unclear until Chalfant's study.

"We're researching an unexplored area of RNA splicing factors in relation to cancer," says Chalfant. "Before this study, there had been very little evidence of an RNA splicing event that results in cancerous tumor development. This study points to caspase-9b as being a very important target in the development of a durable therapy for non-small cell lung cancer."

In mouse models, the researchers used a virus-based targeted gene therapy to reduce the amount of hnRNP L in NSCLC cells. They then observed a lower ratio of caspase-9b to caspase-9a. The result completely stopped the growth of the tumors and had no negative effects on healthy cells. This decrease in the cancer cells' capacity to maintain tumors could make them more susceptible to chemotherapy drugs that typically have little effect on NSCLC.

"Unfortunately, many current therapies for lung cancer are less effective and more toxic than we'd like," says Chalfant. "Lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer, and there is a real need for new cellular targets that are cancer-specific and show results in large numbers of patients regardless of the mutations found in individual tumors. Since caspase-9b is mainly expressed in malignant cells, these findings may provide innovative treatments for non-small cell lung cancer with little to no toxic side effects."


'/>"/>

Contact: John Wallace
wallacej@vcu.edu
804-628-1550
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Knowledge of genetic cancer risks often dies with patients, finds VCU Massey Cancer Center
2. Chemical equator discovery will aid pollution mapping
3. Sirtris review of sirtuin therapeutics for diseases of aging in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery
4. Groundbreaking discovery may lead to stronger antibiotics
5. Discovery of natural compounds that could slow blood vessel growth
6. Nanoscopic screening process to speed drug discovery
7. FSU researchers discovery leads to $1.5 million grant, potential new treatment of liver fibrosis
8. New $11 million center to speed production of new compounds for drug discovery
9. Discovery of giant roaming deep sea protist provides new perspective on animal evolution
10. New discovery may enhance MRI scans, lead to portable MRI machines
11. Kidney function discovery sheds light on genetic complexity of disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
VCU Massey discovery could lead to breakthrough for non-small cell lung cancer
(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market ... the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is ... as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... CHICAGO , April 15, 2016  A ... companies make more accurate underwriting decisions in a ... offering timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance ... health screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid ... and lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... Every ... direct result of asthma complications.* Costing more than $56 billion in direct costs ... , “For too many, the suffering associated with uncontrolled asthma can be ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... Ryan Benton was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular ... late teens to early twenties. DMD is a relatively common progressive genetic disorder, which ... 22, Benton’s condition was critical. He met with the founder of the Stem ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... May 17, 2016 , ... DryLet, LLC, ... applications, announced today it will be showcasing ManureMagic™ at booth V1061 at the ... in the Wall Street Journal last year and more recently made news as ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... May 17, 2016 , ... PATH and ... will collaborate to bring a feeding cup to market based on a reference ... Craniofacial Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital, thereby ensuring an innovative feeding option for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: