Navigation Links
Anti-cancer gene discovered: Perspective for therapy
Date:2/24/2009

Starting with the tiny fruit fly, and then moving into mouse and human patients, researchers at VIB connected to the Center for Human Genetics (K.U. Leuven) showed that the same gene suppresses cancer in all three. Reciprocally, switching off the gene leads to cancer. The scientists think there is a good chance that the gene can be switched on again with a drug. They report their findings in the reputed scientific journal PLoS Biology.

Specialized cells

All of us begin our lives as one cell, which divides into two, four, eight into a human of a few billion cells. Almost all cells in an adult human skin cells, liver cells, eye lens cells, nerve cells, insulin-producing cells etc are highly specialized to perform a specific function. They are no longer capable of taking on another task: when a skin cell divides, you get more skin cells. During the growth from an embryo to an adult human, the cells become more and more specialized ("differentiated", biologists say).

Cancer cells are an exception to that rule: they are much less specialized, and feel at home in different places in the body. Researchers have long believed that cells must take the last step in their specialization to be better protected from turning into cancer cells. However, this was not proven in a living organism.

Suppressing cancer

Wouter Bossuyt from the Group of Bassem Hassan and their fellow VIB researchers at K.U.Leuven, now demonstrate with fruit flies that master control genes steering the specialization step indeed inhibit tumor formation. The specific example the VIB scientists used, are the ones biologists call the Atonal genes. These genes are very similar to each other in all species, from flies to humans.

With mice, and in collaboration with colleagues from the United States, they showed that loss of one of those genes, Atonal homolog 1 or ATOH1, causes colon cancer. The gene regulates the last step in the specialization to epithelial cell of the colon. Humans with colon cancer frequently have an inactivated ATOH1 gene, the researchers observed.

Treatment

The researchers could in a test tube reactivate the gene in human colon cancer cells. The tumor cells stopped growing and committed suicide. Since they were able to switch the gene on with a reasonably simple chemical, this opens possibilities to one day perhaps switch the gene back on in living patients. It will be very important in the future to study in detail how exactly ATOH1 does performs its anti-cancer job


'/>"/>

Contact: Sooike Stoops
info@vib.be
329-244-6611
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. FDA Approves Clinical Studies of a Novel Anti-Cancer Drug Developed by Italian Researchers
2. Epeius Biotech Awarded Patents in Europe for Targeted Genetic Anti-Cancer Medicine: Company Expands Impressive Intellectual Property Estate
3. ThromboGenics and BioInvent Announce a Strategic Alliance With Roche for TB-403, a Novel Anti-Cancer Antibody
4. Computer predicts anti-cancer molecules
5. AngioGenex Appoints New CEO to Direct Development of Anti-Cancer Drugs
6. ARIUS presents new findings for anti-cancer antibody programs at AACR
7. YM BIOSCIENCES ANNOUNCES PRESENTATIONS FOR TWO OF ITS ANTI-CANCER DRUGS AT AACR ANNUAL MEETING
8. Vaccinogens New Anti-Cancer Vaccine Commercially Available in Europe This Year
9. AEterna Zentaris Reports First Patients Treated with Anti-Cancer Compound AEZS-108 in Phase 2 Trial in Ovarian and Endometrial Cancers
10. Egenix Licenses Harvard Anti-Cancer Platform
11. Human Genome Sciences and Aegera Therapeutics Announce Licensing and Collaboration Agreement on Novel Anti-Cancer Drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for ... time. So which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? ... Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... announced today it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. ... Associates , on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... London (ICR) and University of ... tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM), in a ... . The University of Leeds is ... Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the testing services to ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... A new study published in Fertility ... fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched cohort ... After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the authors ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/5/2017)... KEY FINDINGS The global market ... CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. ... for the growth of the stem cell market. ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is segmented ... The stem cell market of the product is segmented ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast in this ... technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, ... end use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and ... and others), and by region ( North America ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest of the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets ... System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade ... industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):