Navigation Links
Scientists uncover key piece to cancer cell survival puzzle

A chance meeting between two leading UK and US scientists could have finally helped solve a key mystery in cancer research.

Scientists have long known that chromosomal defects occur as cells repeatedly divide. Over time, these defects are linked to the onset of cancer.

Now, Professor Duncan Baird and his team from Cardiff University working in collaboration with Eric A. Hendrickson from the University of Minnesota, have identified a specific gene that human cells require in order to survive these types of defects.

"We have found a gene that appears to be crucial for the evolutionary processes that can drive cancer" said Professor Baird from Cardiff University's Institute of Cancer and Genetics.

"This is a new role for this gene, making it a potential therapeutic target," he added.

As cells divide their telomeres the DNA "caps" that protect the ends of chromosomes from damage shorten, leaving the chromosomes vulnerable to sticking to each other.

In normal cells, this chromosome stickiness is a death knell a signal to trigger the defective-cell clean-up process to move in and help finish them off.

Malignant cells, however, are somehow able to elude this clean-up process.

The current research, published in journal Cell Reports, identifies an essential component that allows older cells to evade death.

Using sophisticated gene-targeting techniques to disable particular genes in human cells and then studying the impact on telomere fusion, the researchers found that cells escaped death only when the gene Ligase 3 was active but not when its action, which appears to promote fusion within like chromosomes rather than between different chromosomes, was blocked.

"Telomere dysfunction has been identified in many human cancers, and as we have shown previously, short telomeres can predict the outcome of patients with [chronic lymphocytic leukemia] and probably many other tumor types," according to Professor Baird.

"Thus, the discovery that Ligase 3 is required for this process is fundamentally important," he adds.

Interestingly, the research was made possible by a chance meeting between Cardiff's Professor Baird and Professor Eric Hendrickson from the University of Minnesota at an international conference.

The pair quickly discovered they were both looking at the role of Ligase 3 in cancer, they decided to collaborate.

"The collaboration paid off as we were able to uncover something that neither one of us could have done on our own," Professor Hendrickson says.

Importantly, additional studies are already underway. In particular, the reliance on Ligase 3 appears, in turn, to be dependent upon the activity of another key DNA repair gene, p53.

"Since p53 is the most commonly mutated gene in human cancer, it now behooves us to discover how these two genes are interacting and to see if we can't use that information to develop synergistic treatment modalities," added Professor Hendrickson.

Contact: Chris Jones
Cardiff University

Related medicine news :

1. Sharp Rise in Risk With New Breast Cancer Gene, Scientists Say
2. Aspirin: Scientists believe cancer prevention benefits outweigh harms
3. Scientists Shed Light on Link Between Depression, Dementia
4. Scientists pinpoint bladder cancer patients who could benefit from tumor-softening treatment
5. Scientists to study hereditary breast cancer to find BRCA1 treatment
6. Drexel Scientists Develop Compound to Stop Spread of Metastatic Cancer Cells
7. Scientists test nanoparticle alarm clock to awaken immune systems put to sleep by cancer
8. Brain Tumor Causes and Risk Factors Elude Scientists
9. Brain tumor causes and risk factors elude scientists
10. Mount Sinai Scientists and International Team Shed New Light on Schizophrenia in Largest Genomic Study Published to Date
11. NIH-supported scientists demonstrate very early formation of SIV reservoir
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2017)... LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... of Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration, has recently contributed a medical article to the ... doctors, on Dr. Mohebi’s article spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at ... for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) ... Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... been named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best ... in Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... In the United States, ... In some states—like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and California—the ... have extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes to the relatively lower cost of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... of California Berkeley, and other leading institutions in announcing the launch of the ... to change the way animals are raised for food. , Founding members of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, Inc. ... bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced a ... A (H7N9) vaccine. ... seasonal influenza and presents a challenge for ... exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art bioinformatics and ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... NEW YORK , Sept. 12, 2017   EcoVadis , ... supply chains, has published the first annual edition of its Global CSR ... than 20,400 companies evaluated by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings that analyzed ... ... & Performance Index ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... 12, 2017  ValGenesis Inc., the global leader ... pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. ... Board of Directors and Chairman of Advisory Board ... science companies to manage their entire validation lifecycle ... in this process. Furthermore, ValGenesis VLMS enables rigorous ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: