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:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the leading ... UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing high ... its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as Whole ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome ... in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The ... to advance its drug development efforts, as well as ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to ... traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/3/2016)... Lithuania , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, ... released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System ... of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process ... accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face or ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 20, 2016 The new GEZE ... compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. ... or the door interface with integration authorization management system, ... systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control and ... building installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...   LegacyXChange, Inc. ... LegacyXChange is excited to release its first ... be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed authentic ... also provide potential shareholders a sense of the value ... industry that is notorious for fraud. The video is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):