Navigation Links
Scientists bring cancer cells back under control

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have brought cancer cells back under normal control by reactivating their cancer suppressor genes. The discovery could form a powerful new technology platform for the treatment of cancer of the breast and other cancers.

Breast cancer is diagnosed in about 1.4 million women throughout the world every year, with half a million dying from the disease. A common cause of cancer is when cells are altered or mutated and the body's tumour suppressor genes are switched off.

Research, published today in the Journal Molecular Cancer, reveals how Dr Cinzia Allegrucci from the School of Veterinary Science and Medicine and Dr Andrew Johnson in the Centre for Genetics and Genomics reactivated tumour suppressor genes and stopped the cancer from growing by treating them with Axolotl oocyte extract. After 60 days there was still no evidence of cancerous growth.

Cancers occur when the mechanisms that control normal cell division are mutated. The process of cell division is controlled by specific genes and these are turned "on" or "off" depending on their function. Among the most important of these genes are tumour suppressor genes. These genes repress the development of cancers and normally act as a control point in the cell division cycle. Therefore, the switching off of tumour suppressor genes is a common cause of cancers, including breast cancer.

Dr Allegrucci, a lecturer in molecular genetics and cell biology, said: "The on/off switch in genes is controlled by the modification of proteins that are bound to the DNA in a cell so called epigenetic modifications. Tumour suppressor genes in many breast cancers are switched off by epigenetic marks, which is the underlying cause of tumours. We sought to reverse this process, activating the tumour suppressor genes, in hope of stopping cancerous cell divisions."

Dr Johnson said: "To do this we used novel technology that makes use of the eggs of the axolotl salamander. Over the years Dr Johnson's lab has shown that humans evolved from animals that closely resemble axolotls, and because of this the proteins in axolotls are very similar to those in humans. Axolotl oocytes which are the eggs prior to ovulation are packed with molecules that have very powerful epigenetic modifying activity. Previously Johnson's lab showed that extracts prepared from these oocytes have powerful capacity to change epigenetic marks on the DNA of human cells.

And, in a breakthrough, they showed it is important to use oocytes from the ovary, because if the oocytes are ovulated these activities are lost. We thought that by treating cancer cells with extracts made from axolotl oocytes we could reverse the epigenetic marks on tumour suppressor genes, causing these genes to reactivate, and thereby stopping the cancerous cell growth."

The identification of the proteins responsible for this tumour reversing activity in axolotl oocytes is a major goal of future research which could form a powerful new technology platform for the treatment of cancers from the breast, and other tissues.


Contact: Lindsay Brooke
University of Nottingham

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists Pinpoint Area of Brain That Fears Losing Money
2. Scientists Discover How HIV Is Transmitted Between Men
3. Prevention Is Key Research Goal for Premature Babies, Scientists Say
4. Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway for Organ Tissue Regeneration and Repair
5. Scientists find donut-shaped structure of enzyme involved in energy metabolism
6. Neuroscientists reveal new links that regulate brain electrical activity
7. Two UCSF Scientists to Receive Prestigious Dementia Research Honor
8. Johns Hopkins scientists develop personalized blood tests for cancer using whole genome sequencing
9. Scientists Spot Genetic Fingerprints of Individual Cancers
10. Scientists Unravel Mysteries of Intelligence
11. MSU scientists develop more effective method of predicting lead-poisoning risk
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... the way that they are handling security in light of the recent terrorist attacks ... in an attempt to stop an attack from reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of Swiss ... to treat it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. ... Zurich analyzed the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... "When ... said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases simply from sitting ... individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed the patent-pending QUDRATECS ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... The print component of “Supporting Our Caregivers” is distributed ... Minneapolis, South Florida, with a circulation of approximately 250,000 copies and an estimated ... media strategy and across a network of top news sites and partner media ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that over 50% of its ... 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% of the population - ... estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" said Michelle Li, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of a Biologics License Application (BLA) with ... Administration (FDA) for ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to ... the first adalimumab biosimilar application submitted to the FDA ... biosimilar pathway. Sean E. Harper , M.D., ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, the ... Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product liability and ... implant device, awarded $11 million in favor of ... and three days of deliberations, the jury found ... designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that Wright Medical ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ) today announced that ... York State Attorney General,s Office to end the ... statutes with the Attorney General over the decision of Forest ... selling the now generic version of memantine immediate release tablets.  ... released its counterclaims against New York , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: