Navigation Links
Scientists discover mechanism that promotes lung cancer growth and survival

Richmond, Va. (June 15, 2012) A multi-institutional research study has uncovered a new mechanism that may lead to unique treatments for lung cancer, one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

The study recently published in the journal Genes & Development was a collaboration between Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Minnesota and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The scientists discovered that the protein Bax Inhibitor-1 (BI-1) protects lung cancer cells and promotes tumor growth by regulating autophagy, a complex process initiated under stressful conditions that breaks down a cell's own components to provide nutrients needed for survival.

"Cancer cells are remarkably adaptive and depend on a variety of mechanisms to ensure their survival and continued growth when challenged by their environment," says John C. Reed, M.D., Ph.D., professor and CEO of Sanford-Burnham. "By reducing levels of BI-1, it appears we were able to modulate intracellular signals and starve lung cancer cells of the energy needed to carry out one of their most important survival mechanisms, autophagy."

The researchers showed that BI-1 appeared to be linked to levels of calcium, which aids in signal transduction. Suppressing BI-1 reduced calcium levels in the endoplasmic reticulum, the interconnected network of sacs and tubules that manufacture, process and transport a variety of compounds for use inside and outside of cells. Lowering BI-1 levels led to reduced mitochondrial activity, oxygen consumption and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels. ATP is often called the "molecular unit of currency" due to the important role it plays in transporting chemical energy needed for metabolism.

The researchers' laboratory findings were confirmed by animal models that showed BI-1 suppression reduced human lung cancer tumor growth.

"These studies are the first to show that BI-1 may play an important survival role in cells under circumstances where oxygen and nutrient deprivation are encountered, such as the conditions that arise in advanced tumors or when cells are stressed by chemotherapy treatments," says Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., Thelma Newmeyer Corman Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and program co-leader of Cancer Molecular Genetics at VCU Massey Cancer Center, chairman of VCU's Department of Human and Molecular Genetics and director of the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine. "We are excited by our findings because they uncover a new pathway that may be an effective target for future therapies to treat advanced lung cancer."

Next, the scientists hope to apply their findings to screen for potential drugs that can reduce BI-1-mediated protective autophagy in cancer cells.

Contact: John Wallace
Virginia Commonwealth University

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists Probe Diversity of Human Bodys Microbes
2. Proposed testosterone testing of some female olympians challenged by Stanford scientists
3. Scientists identify possible drug target for acute pancreatitis
4. Scientists Map the Tomatos Genome
5. Scientists discover gene which causes rare disease in babies
6. Scientists evaluate different antimicrobial metals for use in water filters
7. Scientists unravel role of fusion gene in prostate cancer
8. Kessler Foundation scientists present cognitive research findings at MS dual symposium
9. Scientists identify new target to battle rheumatoid arthritis
10. Scientists discover distinct molecular subtype of prostate cancer
11. Scientists study serious immune malfunction
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, ... ... to helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented ... for the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of ... of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even ... progress toward their goal. , Research from reveals that behind ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme ... “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was ... other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, ... Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the ... Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Capricor ... ), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, ... that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne ... exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects ... third quarter of 2016, and to report top ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future ... today online at by the Diabetes ... stand in the way of academic and community service ... scholarship program since 2012, and continues to advocate for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... The vast majority of dialysis patients currently ... are usually 3 times a week, with treatment times ... time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen can ... patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly dialysis ... centers for some duration of time. Residents ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: