Navigation Links
Molecular battle in cancer cells offers clues for treatment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Scientists around the world have been hot on the trail of a genetic mutation closely associated with some brain cancers and leukemia since the mutation's discovery in 2008. The hunt is now yielding fruit. In the Jan. 18, 2011 issue of Cancer Cell, researchers reveal how the mutation contributes to cancer development and suggest potential ways to counter its effects.

About 75 percent of people with low-grade brain tumors and 20 percent of people with acute myeloid leukemia have a mutated version of a gene known as IDH. IDH helps cells metabolize, or eat, food. "We now know that IDH represents the most frequently mutated metabolic gene in human cancer. And that changes the landscape of cancer research in metabolism quite a lot," said Yue Xiong, PhD, William R. Kenan Jr. professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Xiong and collaborators at UNC, the University of California San Diego, and the Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University in China discovered that the IDH mutation sets off a battle inside cells between two metabolites, small molecules produced by metabolic enzymes. On the good sidethe side that leads to normal cell growthis a molecule called ?-KG. On the bad sidethe side that leads to canceris a molecule called 2-HG.

The researchers discovered that cells with the IDH mutation produce less ?-KG and more 2-HG than normal cells. 2-HG then outcompetes ?-KG, disabling a whole family of enzymes that depend on ?-KG to do their jobs in the cell. Normal cell functions break down, contributing to the development of cancer.

Two of the affected enzymes are also involved in controlling gene expression, so if 2-HG wins the battle, it can also activate other genes that lead to cancer growth.

Bolstering ?-KG to help fight 2-HG could offer a new treatment option for patients with the mutation. "?-KG is a natural product of the body. So we know we can survive it, we know it's not toxic. That gives us a window of opportunity," said Xiong.

"In terms of future therapeutic interventions for IDH-mutated tumors, there are two directions we could go," Xiong said. "One is developing a drug that inhibits the ability of the mutant enzyme from producing 2-HG. Another is to somehow provide ?-KG back to the patients with mutated IDH to battle 2-HG."

Such therapies would help only those cancer patients with IDH mutations. "We no longer believe there will be a single silver bullet, a drug to treat and cure all types of cancers," Xiong said. "Instead, we are looking into the therapeutic treatment of individual types of cancer. Therefore, a specific agent that is targeting a very specific event such as tumor with mutated IDH now becomes much more valuable."

In 2010, more than 13,000 people died from brain and other nervous system cancers, and more than 20,000 died from leukemia. A drug that helps even a portion of patients with these cancers can still affect a lot of people, said Xiong.


Contact: Les Lang
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Molecular pathways linked to sex, age affect outcomes in lung cancer
2. SNMs Conjoint Mid-Winter Meetings continue to advance molecular imaging
3. Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway for Organ Tissue Regeneration and Repair
4. The Association for Molecular Pathology celebrates ruling in DNA patent case
5. USC researchers discover new molecular subtype of brain cancer
6. Molecular discovery points to new therapies for brain tumors
7. Molecular marker could help spot pancreatic cancer early
8. News from Molecular Medicine
9. Scientists discover the molecular heart of collective behavior
10. Salt Lake City proclaims Molecular Imaging Days during SNMs Annual Meeting in June
11. Acupunctures molecular effects pinned down
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Molecular battle in cancer cells offers clues for treatment
(Date:10/12/2015)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 ... ... on August 19, 2015, high school aged female athletes, particularly in ... developing potentially sidelining repetitive motion and mechanical overuse injuries than male peers in ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 2015 , ... According to an article published September 27th by ... way to save money on the healthcare needs of patients across the country. Especially ... call visits can often effectively eliminate the need to go in and out of ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... According to an article ... of San Antonio, Texas recommended that any high-rises in the city limits that do ... going forward. The article explains that it wasn’t until 1982 that the city started ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 12, 2015 , ... The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey has awarded $846,600 ... and enhancing the quality of life in the Garden State. The grants, representing the ... , The charitable arm of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... AcousticSheep LLC, creators of ... in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the month of October, ... a SleepPhones® Classic product to a breast cancer patient at the Cleveland Clinic. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... CINCINNATI , Oct. 12, 2015 A ... hearing impaired children can predict whether they will develop ... surgery, according to a study in the journal ... --> In the journal,s Oct. 12 ... say their computer program determines how specific regions of ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Oct. 12, 2015 CorVascular Diagnostics, ... medical technology company that designs and distributes ... it has entered into a collaboration and ... dedicated to producing devices, software and services ... PAD-IQ®, developed and produced by Vasamed, provides ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... PUNE, India , October 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... The Plague - Pipeline Review, H2 2015 ... helps strengthen plague R&D pipelines by identifying new ... products. . --> ... report on Plague pipeline spread across 62 pages, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: