Navigation Links
Discovery of a new mechanism of gene control that is associated with cancer
Date:6/17/2011

This release is available in Spanish.

Researchers headed by Joan Massagu at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York and by Mara Macas at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have identified a complex mechanism by which some proteins that are essential for life, called Smads, regulate the activity of genes associated with cancer. The fruit of three years of intense work, the study reports on the life cycle of this protein, a process that ensures that the protein is destroyed when it has completed its function. These results have been published today in the top journal Genes & Development, which has devoted its cover to this research.

In the TGF-beta/Smad signal cascade, the hormones TGF-beta and BMP transmit information to the Smad protein in the cell nucleus in order for this molecule to stop cell division and to ensure that tissues grow in an orderly and coordinated manner. Although the TGF-beta/Smad signalling pathway has been known for over twenty years, until now it was unclear how Smads temporally controlled the activity of such important genes. "We had several pieces of the puzzle but we couldn't put them together", says Macas.

A number of earlier studies performed by Massagu's lab had identified that Smads undergo phosphorylations a kind of chemical change in a region of the protein about which little is known. By means of biophysical and biochemical approaches, the researchers have discovered that these modifications occur in a coordinated fashion over time and are not random. "First, phosphorylations make some proteins bind to Smads in order to control the activity of target genes and later other phoshorylations cause protein bindings that lead to the destruction of Smad once this protein has completed its mission. This is the way cells prevent fatal errors", explains Macas.

Having established the time sequence of these events, the scientists used cell and structural biology approaches determination of the atom position in Smad proteins and other activating and destructor proteins bound to them to confirm the results previously found. "We have been able to decipher the specificity of the binding between Smad and other proteins and to reveal the secret code that these proteins use to extract information".

How do these proteins favour tumour cells? Massagu explains that "these signalling cascades are like the body's plice force. The tumour cells, in other words the delinquents, disturb these pathways and use them for their own means to grow and spread". These pathways normally are involved in basic cell processes but when altered by mutations several diseases can appear such as cancer, congenital conditions, chronic inflammation and emphysema. These results could serve as the foundation on which to develop new clinical treatments against cancer and other diseases.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nuria Noriega
nuria.noriega@irbbarcelona.org
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Anti-cancer drug discovery partnership formed between UMMC and Ole Miss
2. Discovery of Lung Stem Cells May Herald New Treatments
3. Discovery could change the way doctors treat patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases
4. Discovery of relationship between proteins may impact development of cancer therapies
5. Discovery of 2 new genes provides hope for stemming Staph infections
6. New discovery proves cause of weight problems in Huntingtons disease
7. A safer, more effective morphine may be possible with Indiana University discovery
8. Discovery in liver cancer cells provides new target for drugs
9. Finding of long-sought drug target structure may expedite drug discovery
10. New laser technique opens doors for drug discovery
11. LRI awards wide-ranging research grants to drive next generation of scientific discovery in lupus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major ... to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , ... recipient of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ ... on October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & Wellness ... Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of up ... work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Health ... interactive health literacy software tool, and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an ... education, today announce a new strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s strategic partner, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... wound care advancements to physician colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical directors and other ... Treacherous Waters of Wound Care." , "At many of these conferences we get ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... Denmark , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound ... in the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug ... for regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage ... set to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people ... Learn more at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal Foundation ... and home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients with ... nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions for rare ... system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological and ... ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... Israel and NEW YORK , Sept. 27, ... with mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that its MyDario ... Please check your local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz Show ... ... season this month. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: