Navigation Links
USC researchers investigate protein that protects tumors

A protein that allows breast cancer cells to evade the body's natural immune responses could be a target of future cancer therapies, according to a study by scientists from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

The study, published in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Pathology, is the first to identify how EphB4 ?a protein that sits on the surface of cells ?functions.

"The important aspect of this study is that ?if we turn the protein [EphB4] off, the tumor cells die, which means that its function helps the cancer cells survive," says Parkash S. Gill, MD, a professor of medicine in the Keck School and the study's senior author.

The scientists used a fluorescent dye attached to the protein's antibody to reveal the protein's location on the tumor cells.

"The first step was to identify whether it's there [on cancer cells] and how often," he explained. "We found that it was present on 60 percent of the tumors ?and it's expressed from the very first stage of the cancer formation."

The next step was to determine EphB4's purpose. What the scientists discovered was that EphB4 serves as a sentry, guarding the tumor cells from any defenses the body deploys to attack them.

"There are means in the body to kill tumor cells," Gill says. "[If] you block those then you give the cells the opportunity to survive and grow." Not only did EphB4 block those defenses, but it helped the cancer cells flourish by issuing a call for more blood vessels ?the biological equivalent of food for the tumor.

"The tumor cell carrying this protein ?on its surface communicates with blood vessels nearby," Gill says. "It sends the signal for more blood vessels to grow. One key item for any cancer to grow is to include more blood vessels."

The goal of a future anti-cancer therapy would be to block the protein, essentially knocking out one of the tumor cell's guardians. A similar approach wa s used to develop Herceptin, one of the first biological treatments for breast cancer. Herceptin targets the her2 protein, which is found on the surface of tumor cells about 20 percent of the time, says Gill.

The her2 protein played a role in this study as well. That protein, along with several of its cousins, was found to activate EphB4, he said. "There are certain growth factors that can make this particular protein (EphB4) go up," Gill says. "We are learning more about how this protein is turned on and off in a cancer cell."


Source:University of Southern California

Related biology news :

1. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
2. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
3. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
4. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
5. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
6. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
7. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
8. Agilent Technologies releases automated literature search tool for biology researchers
9. Self-assembled nano-sized probes allow Penn researchers to see tumors through flesh and skin
10. Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
11. US life expectancy about to decline, researchers say
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions ... the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to ... High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only three ... the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards ... who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar ... technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business opportunities that ... The Internet of Healthy Things . Long before ... existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, ... moving care from the hospital or doctor,s office into ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... October 27, 2015 Munich, ... Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile ... Glasses , so that they can be quantitatively ... Munich, Germany , October 28-29, 2015. ... data from mobile eye tracking videos created with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Israel , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) ... on December 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel ... Electra Tower, 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, ... of Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to the ... Rami Skaliter as external directors; , approval of an amendment to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, ... that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive ... Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 ... in New York City. --> ... . Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... InSphero AG, the leading supplier of easy-to-use solutions for production, culture, ... serve as Chief Operating Officer. , Having joined InSphero in November 2013 ... was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics in 2014. There she has built ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ... that Mr. Pierre Laurin , President and Chief Executive ... the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference ... December 1-2, 2015. st , at 8.50am ... meetings throughout the day. The presentation will be available live ...
Breaking Biology Technology: