Navigation Links
Strategy discovered to activate genes that suppress tumors and inhibit cancer
Date:5/21/2012

A team of scientists has developed a promising new strategy for "reactivating" genes that cause cancer tumors to shrink and die. The researchers hope that their discovery will aid in the development of an innovative anti-cancer drug that effectively targets unhealthy, cancerous tissue without damaging healthy, non-cancerous tissue and vital organs. The research will be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The team, led by Yanming Wang, a Penn State University associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and Gong Chen, a Penn State assistant professor of chemistry, developed the new strategy after years of earlier research on a gene called PAD4 (peptidylarginine deiminase 4), which produces the PAD4 enzyme. Previous research by Wang and other scientists revealed that the PAD4 enzyme plays an important role in protecting the body from infection. The scientists compared normal mice with a functioning PAD4 gene to other mice that had a defective a PAD4 gene. When infected with bacteria, cells from the normal mice attacked and killed about 30 percent of the harmful bacteria, while cells from the defective mice battled a mere 10 percent. The researchers discovered that cells with a functioning PAD4 enzyme are able to build around themselves a protective, bacteria-killing web that Wang and his colleagues dubbed a NET (neutrophil extracellular trap). This NET is especially effective at fighting off flesh-eating bacteria.

Now, in their new study, Wang and his collaborators have focused on the less-desirable effects of the same PAD4 gene. While PAD4 is clearly a critical part of the body's defense strategy, the gene's over-expression may be linked to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. One situation in which the PAD4 enzyme is markedly increased is in patients with certain cancers, such as breast, lung, and bone cancers. "We know that the PAD4 gene acts to silence tumor-suppressor genes," said Wang. "So we theorized that by inhibiting the enzyme that this gene produces, the 'good guys' -- the tumor-suppressor genes -- would do a better job at destroying cancerous tissue and allowing the body to heal."

To test their theory, Wang and his colleagues treated mice that had cancerous tumors with a molecule to inhibit the PAD4 enzyme. They found that, especially when combined with additional enzyme inhibitors, the treatment worked as effectively as the most-commonly-used chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin, which shrinks tumors by about 70 percent.

Most striking, however, was that the PAD4 enzyme-inhibition strategy caused significantly less damage to healthy tissues. "Current chemotherapy drugs such as doxorubicin don't attack just tumors; unfortunately, they also attack healthy areas of the body," Wang explained. "That's why chemotherapy patients experience such terrible side effects such as weight loss, nausea, and hair loss. Because the PAD4 treatment appears to be less toxic, it could be an excellent alternative to current chemotherapy treatments."

Wang also explained that the PAD4 gene's dual personality -- on the one hand a helpful defense against bacteria, while on the other, a harmful silencer of cancer-suppressor genes -- can be understood from the perspectives of evolution and longer life spans. "Our ancestors didn't have antibiotics, so a bacterial infection could easily result in death, especially in young children," Wang explained. "So, back then, an overactive PAD4 gene was advantageous because the NET bacteria-trapping mechanism was the body's major defense against infection." Wang also explained that on the other hand, because people today have access to antibiotics, we live much longer than our ancestors did. "PAD4's bad effects -- cancer and autoimmune diseases -- tend to be illnesses that appear later in life," Wang said. "So nowadays, an overactive PAD4 gene, while still protective against bacteria, can be detrimental later in life."


'/>"/>

Contact: Barbara Kennedy
science@psu.edu
814-863-4682
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Governor Rendell Proposes Budget With No Tax Increase, More Money for Public Schools, Strategy for Jobs, Plan to Address Future Deficits
2. SOKO Fitness & Spa Group Broadens Geographic Expansion Strategy
3. Keenan Chief Strategy Officer Selected to Join Editorial Board of Payers & Providers
4. Data Strategy Announces SurePath Services Offering for EMC Avamar
5. New strategy produces promising advance in cancer vaccines
6. New Cancer-Fighting Strategy Focuses On Signaling Molecules
7. Targeting leukemia cells gene addiction presents new strategy for treatment
8. Novel Parkinson's Treatment Strategy Involves Cell Transplantation
9. A new strategy normalizes blood sugars in diabetes
10. Promising strategy for treatment of lung cancer
11. ActiveStrategy iRound™ is Launched to Enable Seamless Capture of Field-Level Performance Management Data
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Strategy discovered to activate genes that suppress tumors and inhibit cancer
(Date:2/11/2016)... Colorado (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... Colorado ... Review as one of 334 spine surgeons to know in 2016 . The ... in the field of spine surgery. , Dr. Corenman understands the importance of ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Talix today announced ... , will be presenting at the 2016 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, taking ... During his session, “ Coding for Care: Using Data Analytics for Risk Adjustment ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Rock, AR (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... in their community by announcing a new fundraiser in support of a local boy ... also hopes the campaign will bring awareness to, and rally support for, all local ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings the spirit of the ... the Christmas edition of the ProDrop series. Pick and choose from 30 unique designs ... spirit of Christmas using ProDrop's wintry generators. ProDrop Christmas is a Final Cut Pro ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... exhibiting at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting at the Walter E. ... is to raise awareness for both the condition of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016 Jeffrey Zucker , ... Trials, will present at this year,s Summit for Clinical Operations ... in Miami, FL. Zucker will discuss ... study execution, supporting SCOPE,s "Improving Site Study Activation and Performance" ... Thursday, Feb. 25 at 11:05 a.m. --> ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Delcath Systems, Inc. ... medical device company focused on oncology with an ... liver cancers, announces the engagement of Lars ... Global Medical Consultant. Dr. Birgerson will provide strategic ... clinical operations team to help ensure timely facilitation ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... REDWOOD CITY, Calif. , Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... that a podium presentation will be made at the ... Burn and Wound Care Symposium, which is being ... . This international conference covers the latest advancements in ... endorsed by the American Burn Association, Australian-New Zealand Burns ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: