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:6/25/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom ... of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result ... more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com ...
(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)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening ... Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to ... at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased to announce the ... as Vice President of North American Capital Sales at HTG Molecular . ... team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated reagents in North ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ... Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with ... ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective June ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz ... under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Consumers have taken a more active ... more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... the pharmaceutical industry have evolved beyond just providing ... are focusing on becoming more patient-oriented across their ... services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for ... of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, ... Center for Innovation, today announced the five finalists ... Hackathon for Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: