Navigation Links
A turn-off for cancer
Date:6/7/2010

Although plants and animals are very different organisms, they share a surprising number of biological mechanisms. A plant biologist at Tel Aviv University says that one of these mechanisms may be the answer for turning off cancer growth in humans.

Prof. Shaul Yalovsky, of the Molecular Biology and Ecology of Plants Department at Tel Aviv University, has identified a "switch" that can turn on cell growth in plants. Now, in a laboratory setting, he can apply the mechanism to reshape cells, grow new tissues, and respond to bacterial or viral invaders.

The switch is actually a fat molecule that modulates a group of proteins called ROPs. Reported in the scientific journal Current Biology, Prof. Yalovsky's research group, in collaboration with Prof. Yoav Henis and Dr. Joel Hirsch of TAU's Departments of Neurobiology and Biochemistry, has determined that this fat molecule is required for ROP activity. Proteins very similar to ROPs exist in humans and provide chemical signals that tell cancer when to metastasize. Now that they know how to regulate ROPs in plants, the researchers believe they are one step away from turning this ROP-like switch off in humans a process which could prevent tumor growth.

An ancient secret revealed

"We've stumbled upon an ancient mechanism that regulates the function of these proteins, proteins which are found in both plants and humans," says Prof. Yalovsky, explaining that this mechanism already regulates the immune response to pathogen invaders in the human body. ROP-like proteins are also involved in wound healing and development of nerve cells in the brain.

"When these proteins are turned 'on,' they can initiate processes like cell division and growth," says Prof. Yalovsky. "Through our genetic engineering, these proteins could be manipulated in humans to speed up tissue healing, or turned off to slow or stop the growth of tumors."

ROPs bind to a small molecule called GTP, which then breaks up into another molecule called GDP. When bound to GDP, ROPs become inactive, a known concept in the plant sciences community. Going one step further, Prof. Yalovsky has created a second type of mutant molecule that prevents ROP proteins from binding to the GTP molecule, creating an inhibitory effect.

A new line of defense

The team's research could also be applied in agriculture to reduce the need for chemical pesticides, they say. The mutant molecule they've devised induces plants to respond as though they are being attacked by pathogens. They then create a biological defense that protects them from infection.

In the research paper, the Tel Aviv University scientists describe how these mutations and mechanisms work, providing a new mechanism to control metastasis in cancer, or stop the deterioration of certain nerve cells in the brain. And in a broader sense, the researchers have created a long-desired platform to test the function of proteins.

"It is common for plant and animal geneticists to identify proteins, but remain unaware of their functions. We now have a mechanism to test our hypotheses," adds Prof. Yalovsky.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Non-melanoma skin cancer may help identify survivors at increased risk for future cancers
2. Consortium seeks best treatment for HIV-positive cancer patients
3. Drug that helps metastatic colon cancer of no benefit in less advanced tumors
4. B2Discovery: Entrepreneurs and researchers join forces to conquer cancer
5. ASCO data show serum DNA blood tests detect cancers with high sensitivity and specificity
6. Molecular imaging detects recurrent prostate cancer
7. New treatment regimen shown effective against advanced ovarian cancer
8. Targeted Therapy Shows Promise Against Deadly Brain Cancer
9. Less-invasive Lymph Node Resection Following Breast Cancer Surgery Confirmed as Standard of Care in Eight-year Study Led by AGH Doctors
10. Researchers Report Treatment Headway Against Lung Cancer
11. Selenium shows no benefit in prevention of lung cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A turn-off for cancer
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... American Spine in Frederick, Maryland is ... surgeries in the Montgomery County, Howard County and Washington, D.C. areas, renowned spine ... American Spine every Monday. He will also perform surgeries in our Germantown surgical ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... To better understand the impact of lung ... examine gender differences in lung cancer. Today, the Lung Association announced Sharad Goyal, MD ... Women Award, funded by the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative, which raises awareness ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... is pleased to welcome new Partner Firm Austin & Co., Inc. Headquartered ... to insurance, employee benefits, HR consulting, benefits technology, and beyond. As an ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... New Brunswick, New Jersey: This year marks Children’s Specialized Hospital ... To commemorate the anniversary, the hospital has themed the milestone “Hats Off” and kicked ... Hospital Foundation on Saturday, May 21, at Johnson Park in Piscataway, New Jersey. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... disease or injury that focuses on repairing the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems of ... emphasis on functional restoration, NYDNRehab began providing treatments for physical therapy in New ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Joe Marziani has joined VMS BioMarketing as senior vice president of ... In his new role, Marziani will lead the company,s business development and sales team, ... outcomes. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160523/371089 ... ... ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... -- Open Access Journal Focusing on ... Elsevier , a world-leading provider of scientific, technical ... launch of Clinical Neurophysiology Practice ... clinical practice issues in clinical neurophysiology. The journal will ... and didactic reviews. It is an official journal of ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... PUNE, India , May 23, 2016 ... is spread across 163 pages, profiles 12 companies and ... 280 tables and figures on the industry and its ... study that is comprehensive in nature, details the current ... of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: