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:6/26/2016)... ... , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a ... fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 ... Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... the pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high ... low, risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support its ... PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing their writing ... which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by nominating him ... Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In April, Genome ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)...  In a startling report released today, National Safety Council ... a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. ... states are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... the 28 failing states, three – Michigan , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Bracket , a leading clinical trial ... clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the ... – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  ... Assessment product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, ... eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  Guerbet announced today that it has been named ... . One of 12 suppliers to receive ... support of Premier members through exceptional local customer service ... to lower costs. ... outstanding customer service from Premier," says Massimo Carrara ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: