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:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now ... of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media of their split ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is ... emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require these medical ... the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A ... 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the ... history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a ... fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. ... Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include ... in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation , ... Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard Medical ... Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and the ... five finalists of Lyme Innovation , the ... 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more ... that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that ... new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in ... on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Research and Markets has ... Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... Diagnostics The World Market for Companion Diagnostics ... diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: