Navigation Links
University of Minnesota research finds key piece to cancer cell survival puzzle
Date:8/7/2014

An international team led by Eric A. Hendrickson of the University of Minnesota and Duncan Baird of Cardiff University has solved a key mystery in cancer research: What allows some malignant cells to circumvent the normal process of cell death that occurs when chromosomes get too old to maintain themselves properly?

Researchers have long known that chromosomal defects that occur as cells repeatedly divide over time are linked to the onset of cancer. Now, Hendrickson, Baird and colleagues have identified a specific gene that human cells require in order to survive these types of defects.

"We have identified a gene that, as cells age, seems to regulate whether the cells become cancerous or not," Hendrickson said. "This gene has never been identified before in this role, so this makes it a potentially very important therapeutic target."

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 defective-cell cleanup crews to move in and finish them off. Malignant cells, however, are somehow able to elude the cleanup crews.

The current research, published in the August 7 issue of the 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," said Baird. "Thus, the discovery that Ligase 3 is required for this process is fundamentally important."

Interestingly, the research was made possible by a chance meeting between Hendrickson, who is an expert in using gene targeting to create cells missing key components (such as Ligase 3), and Baird, who is a leading expert in analyzing telomeres. When the two discovered at a scientific conference that 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," 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," says Hendrickson.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Xenos
sxenos@umn.edu
612-624-8723
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Young Cancer Patients at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital Treated to an Afternoon of Fun with UCLA Football Players, Sponsored by Stater Bros
2. Drexel University College of Medicine Research May Lead to Improved Alzheimer’s/Vascular Dementia Diagnostic Guidelines
3. West Coast University Launches New Doctorate of Pharmacy Program
4. University of Florida Startup Launches Million-dollar Indiegogo Campaign to Eliminate Painful Needle Injections for Insulin
5. Frontier Nursing University Receives $700,000 in Scholarships for Advanced Practice Nursing and Midwifery Students
6. Frontier Nursing University Busts Midwifery Myths In Celebration of 75th Anniversary
7. MyMobileUniversity and Fortech International Form Strategic Alliance That Will Enhance the Global Health and Medical Channel on Its Website
8. MyMobileUniversity Inviting Individuals, Who Are Passionate about the Universal Right to Education, to Come on Board as Goodwill Ambassadors
9. National League for Nursing Congratulates League President Marsha Adams on Appointment as Dean of College of Nursing at University of Alabama-Huntsville
10. Vedic living in a modern world: International conference at Maharishi University
11. New network unites university health care research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... announced the official relaunch of its community and education hub for women considering ... mission is to create a safe and welcoming place for women to find ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... appointment of Jonathan (Jon) Otterstatter to its board of directors. Otterstatter ... proven leader in the development of technological innovations that lead to broad-based healthcare ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Bio-Logic Aqua® Research Water Life ... and a trainer for Ageless Grace ( http://www.agelessgrace.com ) to discuss healthier lifestyles, ... 16, 2016. , Formerly a Northwestern University Literature Professor, Kinst gravitated to her ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Controlling and maintaining the ... the launch of the Aquanta Water Heater Controller , a first-of-its-kind system that ... web-enabled device. As the Nest thermostat does for HVAC systems, Aquanta gives users ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... Harvard Medical School, today announced a licensing relationship that will deliver a new ... This relationship will put the medical knowledge and expertise of Harvard Medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016 The innovator of ... , s first dual therapy stent, introduces catheters ... OrbusNeich, a global company specializing in the provision ... include products to treat peripheral artery disease. The JADE™ ... devices for lower limb and arteriovenous (AV) fistula intervention. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016 Les ... la première endoprothèse à double thérapie au ... portant sur les membres inférieurs et la ... entreprise mondiale spécialisée dans la fourniture de ... a élargi son portefeuille pour inclure des ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016 Dutch surgeons have launched a ground-breaking ... world and treat patients on a global scale. Medical professionals from ... Asia and the US have already signed up ... networking in a totally secure environment. Education  ... working together with a surgeon at Harvard to treat a bomb ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: