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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new ... make more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction ... timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies ... screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing ... lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm ... of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who ... members of the original technical leadership team, including Chief ... President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President ... returned to the company. Dr. Bready served ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... 22, 2016 Unique technology ... for superior security   Xura, ... of secure digital communications services, today announced it is ... offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the Financial Services ... voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, and in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... 2016 Elekta is pleased to ... its industry-leading treatment planning software, is available for clinical ... version 5.11 provides significant performance speed enhancements ... up to four times faster than in previous versions ... gold standard Monte Carlo algorithm, ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016 Q BioMed Inc. ... CEO  was featured in an article he wrote ... Fear To Tread: http://www.lifescienceleader.com/doc/accelerators-enter-when-vcs-fear-to-tread-0001 ... is an essential business journal for life science ... to Big Pharmas. Their content is designed to ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... Asymmetrex will deliver a talk on its first-in-class technologies for tissue stem ... 2016 Meeting on RNAiMicroRNA Biology to Reprogramming & CRISPR-based Genome Engineering in ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... will hold an open house for regional manufacturers at its Maple Grove, Minnesota ... Tsugami, Okuma, Hardinge Group, Chiron and Trumpf. Almost 20 leading suppliers of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: