Navigation Links
New CU Study Suggests Link Between Tumor Suppressors and Starvation Survival
Date:5/9/2013

Boulder, CO (PRWEB) May 09, 2013

A particular tumor suppressor gene that fights cancer cells does more than clamp down on unabated cell division -- the hallmark of the disease -- it also can help make cells more fit by allowing them to fend off stress, says a University of Colorado Boulder study.

CU-Boulder Professor Min Han said the research team was interested in how a common tumor suppressor gene known as Retinoblastoma 1, or Rb, behaved under conditions of starvation. The question is important, said Han, because it may help researchers understand why many cancer cells are more susceptible to starvation or fasting than ordinary cells.

Han and his team studied a popular lab organism called C. elegans, a translucent nematode smaller than an eyelash. Many of the C. elegans genes have similar, corresponding human genes called homologs, and almost all cellular mechanisms found in the nematodes also are found in mammals, including humans, he said. The team charted changes in the physiology of newly hatched C. elegans in the absence of food to look at the corresponding stress response.

“We found the tumor suppressor Rb is a critical regulator of the starvation response,” said Han, who also is a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. “Rb is known for doing more than just suppressing cell division associated with cancer -- it carries out a host of other cellular tasks including regulating development. The new findings by our group and research by other groups suggest organisms survive longer when they encounter starvation by regulating the expression of a large number of genes.”

A paper on the subject was published online May 9 in Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press. The co-authors on the study, Mingxue Cui, Max Cohen and Cindy Teng, are all researchers associated with both CU-Boulder and HHMI. The study was funded by HHMI and the National Institutes of Health.

As part of the study, the researchers monitored the two- to three-week survival time of hundreds of C. elegans hatchlings in an environment with no food, which caused immediate “developmental arrest,” said Han, a professor in CU-Boulder’s molecular, cellular and developmental biology department. “The survival time of the young nematodes is dramatically shorter when the Rb gene is mutated, which causes changes in the activities of multiple cell signaling pathways.”

The study suggests that Rb plays a critical role in maintaining a starvation-induced “transcriptome,” which is the transcription of DNA to corresponding bits of RNA that allow researchers to pinpoint when and where each gene is turned on or off in the cells, he said. Under starved conditions, for example, Rb represses some responses induced by other physical stressors like pathogens and toxins.

Han said the Rb gene is mutated in a large percentage of human cancers. Hundreds of mutations in the RB gene have been identified in people with retinoblastoma, a rare type of eye cancer that usually strikes young children.

“Altogether, these findings identify Rb as a critical regulator of the starvation response and suggest a link between functions of tumor suppressors and starvation survival,” the team wrote in Current Biology. “These results may provide mechanistic insights into why cancer cells are often hypersensitive to starvation treatment.”

There are about 330 HHMI Investigators in the nation, including 15 Nobel laureates and 157 members of the National Academy of Sciences. Other HHMI Investigators at CU-Boulder include Natalie Ahn, Kristi Anseth, Tom Cech (also a Nobel laureate) and Roy Parker. In addition, HHMI Investigator Lee Niswander is at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.

Founded in 1953 by aviator and industrialist Howard R. Hughes, HHMI is a nonprofit medical research organization that ranks as one of the nation’s largest philanthropies. In 2012 HHMI spent $800 million for research and $119 million for science education.

An image of C. elegans is available by entering the search term “C. elegans” at http://photography.colorado.edu/res/sites/news/.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10717883.htm.


'/>"/>
Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2012 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
4. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
5. Veggies Like Broccoli, Cabbage May Help Fight Breast Cancer: Study
6. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
7. Reported Decline in U.S. Pneumonia Deaths May Be False: Study
8. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
9. Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Finds
10. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
11. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... More than a third of American adults are considered ... surgery has received increased attention in recent years, as an article published ... weight loss, most people are familiar with the basic requirements of maintaining a healthy ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... campaign returns for a third time to shed lights on the variety of topics ... and inspirational stories, “Nurse Appreciation” tackles why this career has gone from being in ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... In ... the many who are unaware of the plight of aphasia. In collaboration with ... the “Stroke Awareness” campaign. , The link between stroke and aphasia is relatively ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... in scholarships to students studying complementary medicine. Allison Outerbridge is this year’s ... her award on May 18 at the university’s Student Leadership Awards ceremony. , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... W.S. Badger ... has been honored with a 2016 When Work Works Award for its use of ... of the national When Work Works project administered by the Families and Work Institute ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)...   , Study met ... bowel cleansing and superiority in , ... of the ascending colon   ... Norgine B.V. today announced new positive data from the phase ... preparation) versus standard 2 litre PEG with ascorbate. The study met ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016  NxStage Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... on advancing renal care, today announced that Jeffrey ... in the following schedule of investor conferences. Where applicable, ... at http://ir.nxstage.com/ .   ... Conference NY, NY           Friday, June 10, 2016 1:30 ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... HONG KONG , May 24, 2016 ... , the world , s ... and AV fistula intervention   OrbusNeich, a ... solutions, has expanded its portfolio to include products to ... balloons are the company,s first entry devices for lower ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: