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:5/21/2017)... ... May 21, 2017 , ... For more than 20 years ... wide range of knives and swords, from functional to fantasy. United Cutlery has always ... sleek, modern designs that defy tradition. , Offering a range of weapons and tools ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 21, 2017 , ... Dental visits are often ... since you've seen a dentist, it's time for a dental checkup. The American ... per year. , Dental checkups are a relatively easy procedure that involves visually ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 ... ... of the Charlotte health community, Queens University of Charlotte recently began recruitment efforts ... The program’s curriculum arms students with the skills, knowledge and expertise to approach ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... Mo (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 , ... When ... May 20, his name will already appear on two major research studies that could ... been working with Dr. Matt Daggett, KCU alumnus and an orthopedic surgeon, alongside an ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... The Hill Agencies, a family ... entrepreneurs throughout the California Central Valley, is announcing a joint charity initiative with the ... for a local kid’s camp event. , The Boys and Girls Club of Kern ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/6/2017)... Provista , a proven leader in the supply chain industry ... Jim Cunniff as the company,s new president and CEO. ... Provista, including most recently serving as the president and CEO ... He assumed his new role with Provista on May 1, ... says Jody Hatcher , president, Sourcing and Collaboration Services ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... Clarius Mobile Health, a digital healthcare ... this week at the American Congress of Obstetricians ... San Diego, CA from May ... perfect tool for clinicians to easily confirm pregnancy, ... pregnancy-related complications like ectopic pregnancy and placenta previa," ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... 3, 2017 A Catheterization Laboratory is ... healthcare facility. Commonly referred to as cath lab, ... diagnostic imaging technology to give physicians visual access ... these spaces, a team of physicians perform life-saving ... coronary intervention, congenital heart defect closure, stenotic heart ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: