Navigation Links
DNA end caps may lead to cancer treatments, UT Southwestern researchers report

The two ends of human DNA have different structures that are treated differently as a cell divides, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found in a study that could help lead to cancer therapies.

The study ?published in the Feb. 3 issue of the journal Molecular Cell ?focuses on the ends of DNA, which are capped by segments called telomeres. Each time the cell divides, the telomeres shorten. When they become too short, the aging cell can no longer divide. But in most cancer cells, an enzyme called telomerase keeps the telomeres from shortening, making the cells immortal and potentially malignant.

"Drugs that influence these mechanisms might be used to slow replicative aging in normal cells and increase the efficacy of telomerase-inhibition therapies for cancer," said Dr. Woodring Wright, professor of cell biology.

In human cells, every chromosome has a telomere at each end, and each telomere ends in a single-stranded overhang. (DNA is normally double-stranded.) The overhang at one end of the chromosome is longer than at the other.

"Understanding the structure of the overhang is clearly very important for our ultimate ability to understand and manipulate these things for a variety of purposes," Dr. Wright said.

The researchers believe that the rate of shortening is influenced by the length of the overhang ?more DNA is lost from ends that have longer overhangs. Telomerase also changed the relative size of the two tails.

"We need to understand how this size is regulated, since we would like to be able to manipulate it for therapeutic purposes," he said.

Dr. Wright and his collaborator, Dr. Jerry Shay, professor of cell biology, are world-renowned for their work on telomeres and telomerase. They helped develop an anti-telomerase drug that helps slow the spread of lung cancer cells in mice. The drug is being tested in humans to see if it's safe.

The researchers say that any anti-telomerase dr ug would not be used alone to treat cancer. Rather, it would be used in conjunction with more traditional treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy, to ensure that any cells not killed by those treatments don't spread to other tissues.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Dr. Weihang Chai, instructor of cell biology, and former senior research associate Qun Du, now with Cumbre Inc.


'"/>

Source:UT Southwestern Medical Center


Related biology news :

1. Viral DNA sequence a possible trigger for breast cancer
2. Enzyme, lost in most mammals, is shown to protect against UV-induced skin cancer
3. Its not all genetic: Common epigenetic problem doubles cancer risk in mice
4. Columbia research lifts major hurdle to gene therapy for cancer
5. Combination therapy boosts effectiveness of telomere-directed cancer cell death
6. Mitochondrial DNA mutations play significant role in prostate cancer
7. New imaging method gives early indication if brain cancer therapy is effective, U-M study shows
8. BRCA1 causes ovarian cancer through indirect, biochemical route
9. Researchers identify target for cancer drugs
10. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
11. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/23/2016)... March 23, 2016 ... Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender Anbieter ... Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen ... wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, Utah ... Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume laboratory ... and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing ... announced the launch of a project to establish the ... panel. NSO has been contracted by ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... --> --> ... & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection ... border security market and the continuing migration crisis in the ... has led visiongain to publish this unique report, ... defence & security companies in the border security ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... public interest organization focused on molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2015 ... pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, are given in two categories, one for experiment and ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... Korean researchers ... that it may offer a new way to treat the disease. Surviving Mesothelioma has ... now. , Scientists from several Korean institutions based their mesothelioma study on the ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... NEW YORK , May 19, 2016 ... Biotech space will fully recover given the relentless pressures ... is for sure in the investors circle though - ... requires due-diligence. Ahead of today,s session, ActiveWallSt.com,s presents four ... PTLA ), Vitae Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... Tech Coast Angels (TCA) ... to Cognition Therapeutics at the annual ACA Summit last week in Philadelphia. ... one of ACA’s member angel groups. It is the highest honor available for an ...
Breaking Biology Technology: