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:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 ... ... of Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ... on guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought ... gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event ... audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission ... lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” ... the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The company has developed ... consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula has ... highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Soy ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the ... medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring ... transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ... Aspen Surgical facility in Las Piedras, Puerto ... scalpels and blades. ... that the facility sustained minor structural damage, temporary loss ... Maria. Repairs have been completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, ...
(Date:10/5/2017)...  In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic, ... (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen – ... a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s acute ... Recognizing the value and importance of the ... Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that practitioners ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Mich. , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat ... 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee ... LLC. 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health ... development. "In an ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: