Navigation Links
No 'brakes' -- Study finds mechanism for increased activity of oncogene in certain cancers
Date:1/6/2014

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 6, 2014 The increased activation of a key oncogene in head and neck cancers could be the result of mutation and dysfunction of regulatory proteins that are supposed to keep the gene, which has the potential to cause cancer, in check, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings, published in the early online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest a new target for drugs to treat head and neck tumors, as well as other cancers.

Many research teams have found activation and increased signaling of a protein known as Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3) in different kinds of cancers, and it is associated with poor prognosis, said senior author Jennifer Grandis, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology, Pitt School of Medicine, and director of the Head and Neck Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with UPMC CancerCenter. In adult tissues, STAT3 triggers the production of other proteins that promote the growth and survival of cancer cells.

"Until now, the question of why STAT3 could be hyperactivated has gone unanswered," Dr. Grandis said. "Our findings reveal a possible mechanism for this abnormal activity, which could help us develop new cancer drugs."

Noting that gene aberrations in STAT3 itself rarely occurred in head and neck cancers, she and her colleagues looked for mutations in other proteins associated with increased activity of STAT3. To be activated, STAT3 must be phosphorylated, meaning a phosphate group is added to it. Many cancer drugs work by inhibiting enzymes called kinases that encourage this process. The team focused instead on the other side of the biochemical seesaw in which enzymes called phosphatases deactivate proteins by removing phosphates.

To their surprise, they found head and neck tumors with elevated STAT3 were associated with mutations in the PTPR family of phosphatases. When they reproduced the mutations in computational and lab models, they saw that they led to dysfunction of the enzymes.

"Because the phosphatases don't work properly, phosphate groups don't get removed from STAT3 appropriately, and it stays activated," Dr. Grandis explained. "These mutations essentially get rid of the brakes that might otherwise slow or even stop cancer development."

It might be possible one day to screen tumors for mutations in the PTPR group and then treat them with drugs that inhibit STAT3's activity, she added.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Putting the brakes on pain
2. Study: Half of black males, 40 percent of white males arrested by age 23
3. Stratford Career Institute Updates Medical Billing Home Study Course
4. Study identifies factors associated with pain 1 year after breast cancer surgery
5. New Study Shows That Vitamin E May Benefit Alzheimer's Patients in Daily Activities and Savings In CareGiver Time
6. Loyola bioethics study finds medical students concerned about desensitization to dying patients
7. Kessler Foundation awarded grant to study self-generated learning in multiple sclerosis
8. Study identifies potential new strategy to improve odds of corneal transplant acceptance
9. New study: High mortality in Central Southern states most likely due to smoking
10. Contract Research Organization WCCT Global Announces Milestone for Clinical Study Completion
11. As Tylenol Lawsuits Mount, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Notes New Study Finding that Acetaminophen Combined With Alcohol May Increase Risk for Kidney Damage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida ... their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers ... as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, ... journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) ... held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, ... dedicated to helping service members that have been wounded in battle and their families. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Southern Illinois University School ... for the Illinois State Dental Society (ISDS) Foundation’s Mission of Mercy (MOM). They ... Center in Collinsville. , They expect to treat approximately 2,000 patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... An article ... a possible link between head and neck cancer in individuals with unhealthy oral hygiene ... were evaluated based on whether they had gum disease, brushed their teeth on a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 , , , ... 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , , ... , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s ... Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program ... global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The vast majority of dialysis patients ... Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with treatment ... travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen ... for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly ... rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Leading BioSciences Inc., a ... conditions resulting from a breakdown of the mucosal ... Greg Doyle as chief executive officer. Mr. ... management team and board of directors, previously served ... He will provide continued leadership and strategic direction ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: