Navigation Links
New discovery about growth factor can be breakthrough for cancer research

A research team at the Ludwig Institute and Uppsala University has discovered an entirely new signal path for a growth factor that is of crucial importance for the survival and growth of cancer cells. This discovery, published in todays issue of Nature Cell Biology, opens up an entirely new landscape for research on breast and prostate cancer, among other types.

Our cells ability to understand signals from various growth factors is critical for normal fetal development. The aggressiveness and capacity for survival in cancer cells are also governed by a number of growth factors, with transforming growth factor b (TGF-b) playing a prominent role. In the present study, researchers at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Department of Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, have identified an entirely new signal path that is regulated by TGF-b.

This discovery is of tremendous importance for our ability to identify what signal paths TGF-b uses to inhibit the growth of cells, or to stimulate the ability of cancer cells to survive and metastasize, says Marene Landstrm, who directed the study.

TGF-b conveys its signal to the inside of the cell via receptors bound to the cell membrane in a way that is similar in the great majority of animals. Just over ten years ago, scientists discovered so-called Smad proteins, which serve as unique messengers for the active TGF-b signal. These proteins are activated when phosphate groups bind to them in a manner that is dependent on enzyme activity (of serine-threonine kinases) in the TGF-b receptors.

The new signal path that the research team has now identified is regulated quite independently of this serine-threonine kinase activity, which makes the discovery published in the article extremely interesting. The study shows that the receptors are used instead to activate another enzyme, TRAF6, which binds to the complex of receptors. TRAF6 is a so-called ubiquitin-ligase, which, when activated, places short little protein chains on itself and other proteins. TRAF6 therefore functions as a switch that can determine what signals should be turned on in the cell. TRAF6 is used by TGF- to be specifically able to activate a kinase called TAK1, which subsequently activates other so-called stress-activated kinases, leading to cell death.

The discovery that TGF- makes use of TRAF6 to activate signal paths in cells opens up an entirely new landscape for future research. The makes it possible to develop new treatment strategies for advanced cancers that are dependent on TGF- , for example in advanced cases of breast and prostate cancer.


Contact: Marene Landstrm
Uppsala University

Related medicine news :

1. Discovery of sugar sensor in intestine could benefit diabetes
2. Discovery suggests location of genes for breast density, a strong risk factor for breast cancer
3. Stem cell research produces a key discovery for Fragile X Syndrome
4. Welch Foundation gives $1.6 million for drug discovery research
5. New discovery leaves blood-doping athletes scratching their heads
6. Chemical Diversity Initiates International Prostrate Cancer Discovery Partnership
7. New discovery leaves blood-doping athletes scratching their heads
8. Discovery of widespread tumor growth gene holds promise for effective anti-cancer treatment
9. Discovery supports theory of Alzheimers disease as form of diabetes
10. Discovery Health CME Explores the Benefits and Risks of Aspirin in Aspirin Therapy: Maximizing the Benefits
11. New discovery may improve treatment of one of the worlds leading causes of blindness
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... ENGAGE, at HIMSS’s Patient Engagement Summit . HealthAware is a technology company ... health programs and interventions via mobile devices that provide a framework for the ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Houston, TEXAS (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 ... ... firm and solution provider of IBM software products, introduced a new company, RightSensor™ ... sensor systems and data communications capability. RightSensor™ provides a fully-managed approach for ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... NavaFit Inc. today announced the launch of its ... with, participate in local fitness & sporting events, and stay motivated. Users ... medical costs drive us to get more serious about fitness and wellness, individuals are ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... kind product that targets the unique health needs of new moms. Postnatal ... Pregnancy Association ( ), utilizes Nordic Naturals’ exclusive, new, ultra-concentrated omega-3 ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... California Southern University has named Dr. ... her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the renowned Johns Hopkins University—comes to CalSouthern ... Dr. McLeod’s long and successful nursing practice included a variety of patient care, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  SRI International ... to $100 million over five years by the ... part of the National Institutes of Health, for ... acute or delayed effects of radiation exposure. Under ... division of SRI International will provide services, facilities, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Nanomedical Diagnostics, a ... in research and diagnostics, announces the completion of ... led by Serra Ventures. ... providing low-cost, easy-to-use monitoring and diagnostic platforms that ... The funding round will enable the company to ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13 2015 ... of the "US & European markets for ... to their offering. --> ) ... & European markets for Meniscal Repair - 16 ... --> Research and Markets ( ) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: