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

Gene's function May Give New Target for Cancer Drugs

Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Scientists have determined that a gene long known to be involved in cancer cell formation and chemotherapy resistance is key to proper RNA creation, and could one day lead to new therapies and drug targets.

The human gene p68 has long been recognized as an oncogene, one associated with cancer formation, but its function was unknown. Elizabeth Tran, a Purdue biochemist, found that misregulation of p68 causes problems with RNA formation and arrangement, possibly leading to chromosomal abnormalities.

Tran, whose findings were published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, used a gene in baker's yeast - Dbp2 – as a model to understand p68's function.

"Our results show that Dbp2, and likely p68, functions in proper formation of RNA. Our evidence suggests that Dbp2 keeps the RNA from folding improperly," Tran said. "We think that misfolded RNA may not be released from the DNA, causing problems with the DNA itself."

Genes send instructions to proteins to carry out functions. To do that, DNA is decoded into RNA, which then take that code to proteins.

Tran found that Dbp2 is a crucial part of that RNA creation process. Both Dbp2 and p68 encode an enzyme called an RNA helicase. The RNA helicase enzyme controls the structure and arrangement of RNA, which must be separated from DNA before it takes instructions to proteins.

In this case, Tran showed that misregulated Dbp2 and p68 cause defects in DNA, most likely from incorrect separation of RNA from the DNA. DNA that doesn't fold properly is vulnerable to chromosomes breaking or fusing, problems known to cause a host of diseases.

"The hallmark of cancer is aberrant or even broken DNA," Tran said. "If this process is important for RNA structure and DNA integrity, we may have found a clue as to why misregulation of P68 causes cancer."

Although the study does not address the connection between p68 and cancer, it lays the foundation for future studies. Next, Tran plans to use biochemical experiments to determine exactly how Dbp2 works in a cell and what changes it makes to RNA.

"We need to know what RNAs are recognized by Dbp2 to find how specific genes are affected," Tran said. "We also need to discover what other proteins may function in similar processes and simply haven't been discovered to date."

The National Institutes of Health, Purdue Agriculture and the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, of which Tran is a member, funded the work. Tran's study was published as a paper of the week in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, with an author profile of Sara C. Cloutier, the paper's first author and Tran's laboratory research assistant.


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 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ 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

New Technique Yields Drug, Biomedical Test Results in One Minute
Slug flow microextraction makes it possible to quickly detect the presence of drugs or to monitor certain medical conditions using only a single drop of blood or urine.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Purdue, Houston Methodist to Take Drug Discoveries from the Bench Top to the Bedside
The planned collaboration on research and educational initiatives includes clinical trials of drugs developed at Purdue.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Purdue to Accelerate Drug Discovery, Development
Purdue Center for Drug Discovery adds to Purdue's strengths and the capacity to translate basic research into life-changing treatments.
Monday, September 16, 2013
New Imaging Technology Could Reveal Cellular Secrets
Researchers have married two biological imaging technologies, creating a new way to learn how good cells go bad.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Yeast Study Yields Potential for New Cholesterol, Anti-Fungal Drugs
While studying a mutant strain of yeast, Purdue University researchers may have found a new target for drugs to combat cholesterol and fungal diseases.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
MolecularHUB Gives Scientific Information on Fast-moving Diseases
A scientific gateway website that will provide molecular and genetic information on infectious and emerging diseases has been released by Purdue University.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Biochip Helps Study Living Cells
The biochip could speed scientific research, which could accelerate drug development for muscle and nerve disorders.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Scientific News
Charting Kidney Cancer Metabolism
Changes in cell metabolism are increasingly recognized as an important way tumors develop and progress, yet these changes are hard to measure and interpret. A new tool designed by MSK scientists allows users to identify metabolic changes in kidney cancer tumors that may one day be targets for therapy.
Insights into the Function of the Main Class of Drug Targets
About thirty percent of all medical drugs such as beta-blockers or antidepressants interact with certain types of cell surface proteins called G protein coupled receptors.
Visualizing a Cancer Drug Target at Atomic Resolution
Using cryo-electron microscopy, researchers were able to view, in atomic detail, the binding of a potential small molecule drug to a key protein in cancer cells.
Honey’s Potential to Save Lives
The healing powers of honey have been known for thousands of years.
3-D Printed Lifelike Liver Tissue for Drug Screening
A team led by engineers at the University of California, San Diego has 3D-printed a tissue that closely mimics the human liver's sophisticated structure and function. The new model could be used for patient-specific drug screening and disease modeling.
Cytoskeleton Crew
Findings confirm sugar's role in helping cancers survive by changing cellular architecture.
Biomarker for Recurring HPV-Linked Oropharyngeal Cancers
A look-back analysis of HPV infection antibodies in patients treated for oropharyngeal (mouth and throat) cancers linked to HPV infection suggests at least one of the antibodies could be useful in identifying those at risk for a recurrence of the cancer, say scientists at the Johns Hopkins University.
Valvena, GSK Sign New R&D Collaboration
Valneva to supply process development services for EB66® -based Influenza vaccines.
Light Signals from Living Cells
Fluorescent protein markers delivered under high pressure.
Cellular 'Relief Valve'
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has solved a long-standing mystery in cell biology by showing essentially how a key “relief-valve” in cells does its job.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!