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:1/25/2017)... The Elements of Enterprise Information Security ... of a comprehensive set of business processes and ... identities and providing a secured and documented access ... number of programs opted by enterprises to maintain ... processes and changing policies. However, there are some ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... -- It sounds simple and harmless—an electronic sensor attached ... and alerts parents on their smart phones if, ... But pediatric experts argue that such devices may ... of medical benefits, especially to healthy babies. ... of healthy babies, promising peace of mind about ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... voice recognition biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of 19.36% ... present scenario and the growth prospects of the global voice recognition ... considers the revenue generated from the sales of voice recognition biometrics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Park Systems , a leader ... for all SPIE attendees and Park customers on Feb. 27, 2017 ... the San Jose Convention Center. The luncheon will feature a talk on Automated ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... tech innovators, engineers, and scientists from around the world, is pleased to announce ... February 22 and 23, 2017. This premier, online-only conference focused on the development ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... that Dr. Daniel Spyker, PhD, MD former Acting Deputy Director in the FDA ... Pilot Drug Evaluation Staff has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. , ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - SQI Diagnostics Inc. ("SQI" or the "Company") ... for the three months ended December 31, 2016. ... sciences and diagnostics company that develops and commercializes proprietary technologies ... ... on the commercial milestones achieved in fiscal 2016," said ...
Breaking Biology Technology: