Navigation Links
K-State professor finds link between low oxygen levels in body and cancer-aiding protein
Date:3/9/2010

What began as research into how diabetics could possibly preserve their eyesight has led to findings that could prolong the vision of children afflicted with retinoblastoma.

Dolores Takemoto, a Kansas State University professor of biochemistry who was researching protein kinase C gamma in the lens of the human eye, found her work taking a fascinating turn when she discovered a correlation between the protein Coonexin46 and hypoxia -- a deficiency of oxygen which kills normal tissue cells.

According to the data, Coonexin46, or Cx46, appears in the body during these levels of low oxygen. Besides the eye, which is one of the body's only naturally occurring hypoxic tissue, Cx46 also is present in cancer cells since the cells seal themselves off from the oxygen carried by the blood vessels, thus creating a hypoxic environment.

Takemoto believes the findings will lead to serious advancements in treating retinoblastoma, a cancer that forms in the tissue of the retina -- the light-sensitive layers of nerve tissue on the back of the eye. It occurs in 300 U.S. children under the age of 5 each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

"When a child comes in with retinoblastoma in one eye it's usually too late in the process to save that eye, and, it will spread to the other eye," Takemoto said.

Once an eye becomes cancerous, it has to be removed to prevent the tumor from spreading. Too often, though, Takemoto said, by the time the tumor is noticed in one eye, it has already spread to the second, resulting in a child being permanently blind.

Through her research, Takemoto believes a siRNA medication can be invented which can be injected monthly into the noncancerous eye, preventing tumor growth. siRNA, or small interfering ribonucleic acid, is a class of double-stranded RNA molecules that can be used to interfere with the expression of a specific gene. In this case, the siRNA would suppress Cx46, which allows a tumor to exist in a hypoxic environment. In this manner, the tumor can be prevented from growing at the early hypoxic stage.

Using a mouse model for retinoblastoma, the Takemoto lab has found that use of siRNA to lower the levels of Cx46 will prevent tumor formation.

An international application has been filed with the Patent Cooperation Treaty regarding the findings.

During her trials with Cx46, Takemoto collaborated with Thu Annelise Nguyen, associate professor of toxicology at K-State. The two examined biopsies of MCF-7 breast cancer, where they also found Cx46 present. Takemoto said the same was true for samples of colon cancer.

"Any time there's a drop in oxygen within the body, Cx46 appears," Takemoto said.

While Takemoto's research into Cx46 is focused on the eye, Nguyen is studying Cx46 in breast cancer. She is currently exploring drug discovery and drug testing related to breast cancer.

Besides treating tumors, Takemoto said she believes these findings could help with treatment in acute or chronic heart disease, heart attacks, retinal ischemia, ischemia of the brain, blood pressure problems and glaucoma, as well as for health applications in animals.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dolores Takemoto
dtak@k-state.edu
785-532-7009
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Expert on Emerging Infectious Zoonotic Diseases Joining K-State as a Regents Distinguished Professor
2. Professionals in bioscience, food-related industries turn to K-State
3. K-State Veterinary Lab Routinely Tests For Bluetongue Virus; Lab Director Says Strains Found in Kansas, U.S. Usually Less-Virulent
4. K-State Researchers Predict That an Outbreak of Foot-And-Mouth Disease Could Cost Kansas Nearly a Billion Dollars
5. K-State Trauma Researcher Says Being Prepared, Taking Action Are Vital in Preventing Tragedies Like the One at NIU
6. K-State and Kansas Health Foundation Team Up to Promote One Health Kansas
7. K-State Veterinarian Discusses Treating Dogs With Cushings Disease
8. K-State helps nursing home staff become comfortable with residents sexual expression
9. K-State Psychologist Studies Ways to Improve Soldiers Work-Life Relationship
10. K-State engineers create DNA sensors that could identify cancer using material only one atom thick
11. K-State Researcher Finds That the 1918 Spanish Flu Virus Can Infect Swine and Resulted in Current Lineage of H1N1 Swine Influenza Viruses
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... SunView Software aims ... employees that are both engaging and easy to use. Coming off the heels ... company revealed today its plans to roll out new AI-powered self-service enhancements to ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... STAT courier is pleased to ... convenient service for Texas, they are expanding their presence in Dallas. One of the ... that will bring new jobs to the Dallas and Forth Worth market. STAT takes ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Vida Health, the digital health ... led by Canvas Ventures . Other investors include Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) and ... to serve more consumers who are managing chronic conditions or simply want ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Peter Zipp Insurance, an ... around the greater Phoenix metropolitan region, is announcing a charity event to provide ... the Homeless Youth Connection is to promote community awareness of the ongoing needs ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Bill Mull Agencies, a Wichita-based firm offering ... central Kansas, is joining the Youth Horizons organization for a charity event that ... Wichita, Youth Horizons works to empower area children from unstable, troubled, or single-parent ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016  Haemonetics Corporation (NYSE: HAE ) has ... an innovative software suite designed to help customers drive efficiency ... of NextGen DMS 4 improves core features and introduces innovations ... liter of plasma collected, enhancing quality and regulatory compliance and ... ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... SINGAPORE , BEIJING , and ... a leading commercial provider of genomic services and solutions with ... a Singapore biotechnology company; and the ... today that NovogeneAIT Genomics Singapore (NovogeneAIT) – a new joint ... whole genome sequencing (WGS) centre at Biopolis, Singapore ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016 "Lantus (Insulin Glargine) Biosimilar Clinical Trial & ... biosimilar version of Lantus drug in clinical pipeline. Currently 5 biosimilar version ... Japan , Kenya , Czech ... , China , Slovakia , ... 2 diabetes mellitus. The patent on Lantus expired in 2014. Lantus ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: