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Scientists find key protein that suppresses prostate cancer growth in the laboratory
Date:1/31/2011

hormones stimulate the cancer cells to divide, enabling the tumour to grow. Treatments that reduce hormone levels or stop them from working are initially effective, but eventually the tumour stops responding to this treatment and becomes more aggressive.

Dr Bevan and her team began by exposing prostate cancer cells to male hormones and looking at how the levels of different proteins changed. They discovered that the hormones made the cells produce less of the FUS protein, and examined further whether FUS might influence cell growth by inserting extra copies of the gene for FUS into cells grown in culture. They found that making the cells produce more FUS led to a reduction in the number of cancer cells in the dish.

Greg Brooke, first author of the study, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London said: "Our study suggests that FUS is a crucial link that connects male hormones with cell division. The next step is to investigate whether FUS could be a useful test of how aggressive prostate cancer is. Then we might look for ways to boost FUS levels in patients to see if that would slow tumour growth or improve response to hormone therapy.

"If FUS really is a tumour suppressor, it might also be involved in other cancers, such as breast cancer, which has significant similarities with prostate cancer."


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Contact: Simon Levey
s.levey@imperial.ac.uk
44-207-594-6702
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

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