Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

For Cancer Patients, Sugar-Coated Cells are Deadly

Published: Friday, June 27, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, June 27, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Paszek’s lab will focus on developing high-resolution microscopy to further study cell membrane-related cancer mechanisms.

Every living cell’s surface has a protein-embedded membrane that’s covered in polysaccharide chains - a literal sugar coating. On cancer cells, this coating is especially thick and pronounced.

A Cornell researcher has found that a cancer cell’s sugary outside is anything but sweet. The thick, slimy coating that would feel like a slug’s skin is a crucial determinant of the cell’s survival, it turns out. Consisting of long, sugar-decorated molecules called glycoproteins, the coating causes physical changes in the cell membrane that make the cell better able to thrive - leading to a more lethal cancer.

Matthew Paszek, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, led the study on glycoprotein-induced cancer cell survival, published online in Nature June 25. Before he joined the Cornell faculty in January, Paszek was a postdoctoral fellow at the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science.

The Nature study was initiated by Paszek and co-author Valerie Weaver at the University of California, San Francisco, and includes other collaborators in bioinformatics, clinical research and chemistry. At Cornell, Paszek’s lab will focus on developing high-resolution microscopy to further study cell membrane-related cancer mechanisms.

The researchers found that long glycoprotein chains on a cancer cell’s surface cause the cell membrane to push away from its environment and bend inward. This physical change causes adhesion receptors on the cell surface called integrins to clump together. Integrins bind to protein scaffolds in their environment and regulate pretty much everything a cell does - movement, change and growth.

This clustering mechanism causes the integrins to alter the cell’s normal signaling, leading to unchecked growth and survival.

The mechanics of this sugar coating and its subsequent chemical signaling is likely dictated by basic factors like nutrient availability and metabolism - things with implications for diet and genetic makeup, for example, Paszek said. “Changes to the sugar composition on the cell surface could alter physically how receptors are organized,” he said. “That’s really the big thing: coupling the regulation of the sugar coating to these biochemical signaling molecules.”

The paper, “The cancer glycocalyx mechanically primes integrin-mediated growth and survival,” was the subject of a “News and Views” feature in Nature. Paszek’s work was supported by the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Tumor-suppressing Gene Lends Insight to Cancer Treatment
Researchers have found that delicate replication process derails if a gene named PTEN has mutated or is absent.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
$5.5M NSF Grant Aims to Improve Rice Crops with Genome Editing
Researchers to precisely target, cut, remove and replace DNA in a living cell to improve rice.
Friday, May 08, 2015
A ‘STAR’ is Born: Engineers Devise Genetic 'On' Switch
A new “on” switch to control gene expression has been developed by Cornell scientists.
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Computer Model Reveals Cancer's Energy Source
Findings focused on the energy-making process in cancer cells known as the Warburg Effect.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Shark, Human Proteins are Surprisingly Similar
Despite widespread fascination with sharks, the world’s oldest ocean predators have long been a genetic mystery.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Gold-Plated Nano-Bits Find, Destroy Cancer Cells
Scientists have merged tiny gold and iron oxide particles, then added antibody guides to steer them through the bloodstream toward colorectal cancer cells.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Using Genes to Rescue Animal and Plants from Extinction
With estimates of losing 15 to 40 percent of the world’s species over the next four decades researchers whether science should employ genetic engineering to the rescue.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Dad’s Genes Build Placentas
Though placentas support the fetus and mother, it turns out that the organ grows according to blueprints from dad.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Physicists Tease out Twisted Torques of DNA
Like an impossibly twisted telephone cord, DNA, the molecule that encodes genetic information, also often finds itself twisted into coils.
Monday, July 01, 2013
Expelled DNA that Traps Toxins May Backfire in Obese
The body’s most powerful immune cells may have a radical way of catching their prey that could backfire on people who are overweight.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Genetic Switches Play Big Role in Human Evolution
Study offers further proof that the divergence of humans from chimpanzees was profoundly influenced by mutations to DNA sequences.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Genome Offers Clues to Amphibian-Killing Fungus
A fungus that has decimated amphibians globally is much older than previously thought.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Scientists Find Clues to Some Inherited Heart Diseases
Cornell researchers have uncovered the basic cell biology that helps explain heart defects found in diseases known as laminopathies.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Scientists Develop World's Smallest Drug Deliverer
Cornell researchers have created a pore in “Cornell Dots” – brightly glowing nanoparticles nicknamed C-Dots – that can carry medicine.
Friday, April 12, 2013
DNA Editor Named Runner-up Breakthrough of 2012
A discovery that allows life scientists to precisely edit genomes for everything from crop and livestock improvement to human gene and cell therapy was named runner-up for Science magazine's 2012 Breakthrough of the Year.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Scientific News
New CAR T Cell Therapy Using Double Target Aimed at Solid Tumors
Researchers at Penn University have described how antibody, carbohydrate combination could apply to range of cancer types.
Erasing Unpleasant Memories with a Genetic Switch
Researchers from KU Leuven and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology have managed to erase unpleasant memories in mice using a 'genetic switch'.
New Method Detects Telomere Length for Research into Cancer, Aging
UT Southwestern Medical Center cell biologists have identified a new method for determining the length of telomeres, the endcaps of chromosomes, which can influence cancer progression and aging.
Assessing the Effectiveness of Genome-Editing Technologies
Researchers have developed a cost-effective and rapid method for assessing edits generated by CRISPR-Cas9 and other genome-editing technologies.
New Cancer Drug Target Found in Dual-Function Protein
Findings from a study from TSRI have shown that targeting a protein called GlyRS might help to halt cancer growth.
Alzheimer's Genetics Point To New Research Direction
A University of Adelaide analysis of genetic mutations which cause early-onset Alzheimer’s disease suggests a new focus for research into the causes of the disease.
Contagious Cancers Are Spreading in Shellfish
Direct transmission of cancer among some marine animals may be more common than once thought, suggests a new study published in Nature by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
Contagious Cancers Are Spreading in Shellfish
Direct transmission of cancer among some marine animals may be more common than once thought, suggests a new study published in Nature by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a fix that allows RNA to accurately proofread for the first time.
Higher Frequency of Huntington's Disease Mutations Discovered
University of Aberdeen study shows that the gene change that causes Huntington's disease is much more common than previously thought.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!