Navigation Links
'Tribbles' protein implicated in common and aggressive form of leukemia

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have identified a new protein associated with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Several lines of evidence point to a protein called Tribbles, named after the furry creatures that took over the starship Enterprise in the original Star Trek series. Tribbles was first described in fruit flies.

"Tribbles had never been directly linked to human malignancy," says senior author Warren S. Pear, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "This is a new protein to human cancer and has a specific and overwhelming effect when expressed in hematopoietic stem cells, the cell type that gives rise to all elements of the blood."

Three lines of evidence implicate Tribbles in AML. First, all mice engineered to express Tribbles-2 (Trib-2) in hematopoietic stem cells developed AML. They also found that Trib-2 inhibited C/EBPá, another protein that is frequently mutated in AML patients. Additionally, expression of the Tribbles protein was elevated in blood samples from AML patients, further suggesting that it contributes to AML. Overall, the findings suggest that Tribbles induces AML by inactivating the C/EBPá protein. The results were published in this week's issue of Cancer Cell.

AML is a malignancy that arises in white blood cells and develops when there is a defect in immature immune cells in the bone marrow. In AML, the uncontrolled, exaggerated growth and accumulation of white blood cells leads to anemia and a deficiency of normal white cells in the blood. AML is the most common type of leukemia in adults, with an estimated 10,100 new cases reported each year.

Pear, also a researcher in the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at Penn; first author and postdoctoral fellow Karen Keeshan, PhD; and colleagues found Tribbles by chance when looking for the molecular partners of another protein called Notch. Notch is a molecular switch of sorts, activati ng gene transcription in the nucleus of many types of cells, and depending on the biochemical context, turns certain pathways on and others off.

Pear and colleagues knew from fruit fly studies that the Tribbles protein was linked to cell growth and cell-fate determination and is closely related to the Tribbles gene in mammals. In fact, Tribbles is so named because, when mutated in flies, it causes cells to proliferate uncontrollably.

Accumulating evidence from several groups shows that Tribbles functions as a scaffold to bring together a complex that mediates protein degradation. Protein degradation is required for normal cellular function; however, data from the Pear lab suggests that mistakes in the expression of the Tribbles gene may lead to degradation of proteins that hold cancer in check, such as tumor suppressors. "One of our current challenges is to determine what other proteins Tribbles degrades to cause leukemia," says Pear.

The findings in mice were also validated in a large database of human cancer patients. In a survey of gene expression in AML patients, high Tribbles expression was found in a subset of patients who had been previously characterized by defects in C/EBPá.

According to Keeshan, "C/EBPa defects have also been identified in lung cancer and other tumors, suggesting the possibility that Trib2 dysregulation may be identified in other tumors. Furthermore, linking Trib2 to human cancer adds further support to the notion that targeting the protein degradation machinery will be a useful strategy in treating malignancy."

Source:University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Related biology news :

1. New, automated tool successfully classifies and relates proteins in unprecedented way
2. New binding target for oncogenic viral protein
3. Controversial drug shown to act on brain protein to cut alcohol use
4. Timing is everything: First step in protein building revealed
5. UWs Rosetta software to unlock secrets of many human proteins
6. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
7. Signaling protein builds bigger, better bones in mice
8. Ancient olfaction protein is shared by many bugs, offering new pest control target
9. Automatic extraction of gene/protein biological functions from biomedical text
10. Discovery of key proteins shape could lead to improved bacterial pneumonia vaccine
11. Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... April 27, 2016 Research ... Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal ... 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal ... sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016 Research ... Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market is ... during the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis ... can be used to compute factors that are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... healthier lives through the development of innovative products and ... the United States denied its petition ... claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") ... established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Chapel Hill, N.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, ... ... of U.S. commercial operations for Amgen, will join the faculty of the ... will serve as adjunct professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... that more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP ... individual circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test ... of HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... therapies targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Wausau, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... probiotic supplements, is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, ... supplements for over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list ...
Breaking Biology Technology: