Navigation Links
Controlling gene expression to halt cancer growth
Date:10/28/2011

NUT midline carcinoma (NMC) is a cancer without a cure, and one that affects all age groups. NMC is a rapid-growth disease with an average survival time of four and a half months after diagnosis, making the development of clinical trials for potential therapies or cures for this cancer difficult, to say the least.

But difficult doesn't mean impossible, and Olaf Wiest, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, is one of a group of collaborators studying the effects of a specific molecule (JQ1) on the trigger that controls the growth of this form of cancer.

Most people are familiar with genetics and the role they play in our height, hair color, and even predisposition to various diseases. "But there is this whole other world called epigenetics that controls which genes are expressed and which aren't," says Wiest.

This epigenetic world is made up of three classes of proteins: writers, erasers and readers, collectively the "instruction manual" that tells a gene when to activate and when to cease activation. Writers will create the instruction for the gene while erasers will remove instructions. Readers control the group and issue the start and stop commands for genes to use their instructions.

"The reason NMC is so aggressive is because these cancer cells divide very fast," says Wiest. This rapid-growth is caused by the protein BRD4, an epigenetic reader that interacts with another protein called a histone. Their interaction changes the instructions for the gene and keeps the growth trigger permanently activated.

"The solution is that you have to block that protein," Wiest says. "Which is something that is traditionally very difficult in protein-to-protein interactions because the binding between them is not very strong. Normally when you're talking to somebody in chemistry and say you're going to target a protein to protein interaction, they say 'you're nuts.'"

"Of course the way to prove them wrong is to go on and do it," he concludes.

There is already a vast amount of information on writers and a lot of interest in erasers in the research community because there are two FDA approved drugs that control erasers. Research into epigenetic readers, however, is relatively new.

Wiest says it wasn't such a big step for him and his 21 colleagues to move from erasers to readers in their studies. Their recent focus has been on a small molecule called JQ1 that tricks the NUT midline carcinoma cancer cells by disrupting the protein-to-protein interaction. It not only halts the constant growth command but it also makes the cancer cells "forget" their instructions and begin to resemble normal cells.

Wiest's research showed that the protein is less flexible in the presence of JQ1, allowing it overcome the weak bindings. Animal studies produced very encouraging results. Laboratory mice transplanted with NMC cells from patients and given JQ1 lived, those that were not given JQ1 died.

Wiest's hope is that through continued studies on the effectiveness of JQ1, an effective and non-invasive therapy can be found for NMC and other aggressive cancers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Olaf Wiest
Olaf.G.Wiest.1@nd.edu
574-631-5876
University of Notre Dame
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New tactic for controlling blood sugar in diabetes contradicts current view of the disease
2. Antipsychotics Best for Controlling Mania: Study
3. A LEAP in controlling cardiac fibrillation
4. A step toward controlling Huntingtons disease?
5. Controlling partners suffer more conflict with sexual desire
6. Controlling brain circuits with light
7. Melatonin might help in controlling weight gain and preventing heart diseases associated with obesity
8. Studies Highlight Challenge of Controlling Resistant Bacteria in Hospitals
9. For Young Women, Controlling Partner Often Abusive, Too
10. Avoiding or controlling diabetes may reduce cancer risk and mortality
11. UC Davis pain research may pave the way to understanding and controlling chronic pain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight ... app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether ... latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, ... their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to ... came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... People ... part in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and ... an award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 The vast majority ... outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times a ... per visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and wait ... but especially grueling for patients who are elderly and ... skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANKLIN, Tenn. , June 23, 2016 ... for automating, integrating and transforming the patient ... launch of several innovative new products and ... depth of its revenue cycle offerings. These ... establish more efficient workflows, remain compliant in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today ... policy research organization as its newest member.  ... vice president and chief scientific officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, ... NPC Board of Directors. ... joined us in support of our efforts to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: