Navigation Links
Human cells secrete cancer-killing protein, UK study finds
Date:7/23/2009

Human cells are able to secrete a cancer-killing protein, scientists at the University of Kentucky's Markey Cancer Center have found.

Researchers led by Vivek Rangnekar, UK professor of radiation medicine, have determined that the tumor-suppressor protein Par-4, initially thought to be active only within cells expressing the Par-4 gene, is in fact secreted by most human and rodent cells and can target large numbers of cancer cells by binding to receptors on the cell surface.

This discovery, published today in the leading journal Cell, makes Par-4 a very attractive molecule for future research aimed at developing new cancer treatments.

"It was a pleasant surprise, when we noticed that Par-4 protein is secreted by cells," Rangnekar said. "This new finding means it is not necessary to make genetic modifications, or to employ recombinant viruses, to deliver the Par-4 gene to cancer cells, and it significantly expands the potential applications of Par-4 to selectively kill cancer cells."

Funded by several grants from the National Institutes of Health, Rangnekar's study found that when the Par-4 molecule binds to its receptor GRP78 on the surface of a tumor cell, it triggers a biological process called apoptosis or "cell suicide." Consistent with previous research by Rangnekar's laboratory with intracellular Par-4, the newly discovered secreted Par-4 acts selectively against cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed. Few other molecules are known to exhibit such selectivity.

One molecule, known as TRAIL, also exerts cancer-cell-specific effects. However, Rangnekar's most recent study discovered that apoptosis inducible by TRAIL is dependent upon extracellular Par-4 signaling via cell surface GRP78. Thus, the researchers conclude, Par-4 activates a novel pathway involving cell surface GRP78 receptor for induction of apoptosis. In other words, without Par-4, TRAIL lacks the ability to cause "cell suicide."

Rangnekar first discovered the Par-4 gene in 1993. In 2007, Rangnekar's team introduced the gene into a mouse embryo, creating a cancer-resistant "supermouse" that did not develop tumors. In fact, the mice possessing Par-4 actually live a few months longer than lab mice without the gene, indicating that Par-4 mice have no toxic side effects.

While Par-4 is not necessarily a "magic bullet" it does not target every type of cancer cell Rangnekar says it could play a major role in developing new combination treatment modalities for cancer patients. His hope is that the next generation of treatments will be even more effective than conventional treatments available today, with fewer and less severe side effects.

"I look at this research from the standpoint of how it can be developed to benefit the cancer patient, and that's what keeps us focused," Rangnekar said, discussing the potential of Par-4 in 2007. "The pain that cancer patients go through not just from the disease, but also from the treatment is excruciating. If you can treat the cancer and not harm the patient, that's a major breakthrough."

Rangnekar holds the Alfred Cohen, M.D., Endowed Chair in Oncology Research at the UK College of Medicine.


'/>"/>

Contact: Keith Hautala
keith.hautala@uky.edu
859-257-1754
University of Kentucky
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Human Genome Sciences Announces Second-Quarter 2009 Financial Results and Key Developments
2. Vaxine Wins Line Honours With Worlds First Human Swine Flu Vaccine
3. Diane Adams Joins Allscripts as Executive Vice President, Human Resources
4. Reminder - Human Genome Sciences to Host Conference Call to Discuss Top-Line Phase 3 Results for BENLYSTA(TM) (Formerly LymphoStat-B(R)) in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
5. Illinois Human Service Providers Announce Layoffs
6. Texas Humane Legislation Network Calls for Puppy Mill Crackdown
7. NOSCAR announces NOTES multicenter human trials in the US
8. NOSCAR(R) Announces NOTES(R) Multicenter Human Trials in the U.S.
9. Humans Can Develop Bat-Like Echolocation
10. Human sperm created from embryonic stem cells
11. Master Stem Cell for Human Heart Identified
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support ... as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB ... Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards ... in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) ... obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events ... in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... N.J. , June 24, 2016  Collagen ... the design, development and manufacturing of collagen and ... regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... and Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio ... medical devices. Bill joins the Collagen ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has ... 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their ... Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart ... electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits ... structures such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Research and Markets has ... Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... Diagnostics The World Market for Companion Diagnostics ... diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: