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

New Research Could Stop Tumour Cells from Spreading

Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, March 29, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Researchers from the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg have managed for the first time to obtain detailed information about the role of the protein metastasin in the spread of tumour cells.

Published recently in the renowned Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study paves the way for the development of new drugs.

Metastasin is a protein with a key role in the spread of tumour cells.Previous research has shown that it is activated through the binding of calcium ions and then binds to and modulates other proteins.

Increases the spread of tumour cells

One of metastasin’s binding partners is a motor protein called non-muscle myosin. Motor proteins are the driving force behind cell mobility. By binding to this protein, metastasin can increase the spread of tumour cells, acting as a kind of gas pedal for the cancer engine.

- Using a method called X-ray crystallography, we have managed for the first time to obtain detailed information on how metastasin binds to a motor protein, a process that facilitates the spread of tumour cells, explains researcher Gergely Katona.

Detailed picture

It has been possible to image metastasin and calcium-ion-bound metastasin using X-ray crystallography before, but the researchers at the University of Gothenburg are the first to have imaged the structure of calcium-ion-activated metastasin with an attached non-muscle myosin fragment.

- This has given us information about regions of both metastasin and the motor protein that are crucial for metastasin’s ability to bind to the motor protein. This is important to know for drugs to be developed that block these specific regions and so prevent this binding.

The image of the two molecules gives us a better understanding of how metastasin binds to the motor protein, so increasing cell mobility and the spread of tumour cells. This understanding in turn paves the way for the development of new drugs to prevent this harmful interaction between molecules and so stop tumour cells from spreading.

- The metastasin and the motor protein can be imaged as a snapshot, but the next stage is to create a kind of video to see how the molecules move when binding to one another, explains Katona.

Gergely Katona is a researcher at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg.

Further Information
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 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ 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 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.

Scientific News
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Measuring microRNAs in Blood to Speed Cancer Detection
A simple, ultrasensitive microRNA sensor holds promise for the design of new diagnostic strategies and, potentially, for the prognosis and treatment of pancreatic and other cancers.
Novel Proteins Linked to Huntington's Disease
University of Florida Health researchers have made a new discovery about Huntington's disease, showing that the gene that causes the fatal disorder makes an unexpected "cocktail" of mutant proteins that accumulate in the brain.
Enzyme Critical to Maintaining Telomere Length Discovered
New method expected to speed understanding of short telomere diseases and cancer.
New Method Identifies Up to Twice as Many Proteins and Peptides
An international team of researchers developed a method that identifies up to twice as many proteins and peptides in mass spectrometry data than conventional approaches.
Metabolic Profiles Distinguish Early Stage Ovarian Cancer with Unprecedented Accuracy
Studying blood serum compounds of different molecular weights has led scientists to a set of biomarkers that may enable development of a highly accurate screening test for early-stage ovarian cancer.
New Way to Force Stem Cells to Become Bone Cells
Potential therapies based on this discovery could help people heal bone injuries or set hardware, such as replacement knees and hips.
Long-Sought Protein Sensor for the ‘Sixth Sense’ Discovered
In a study led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI)the sensor protein for propioception has been identified.
How Viruses Commandeer Human Proteins
Researchers have produced the first image of an important human protein as it binds with ribonucleic acid (RNA), a discovery that could offer clues to how some viruses, including HIV, control expression of their genetic material.
Tracking How Herpes Simplex Virus Moves Through Cells
In a recent study, Derek Walsh, PhD, associate professor of Microbiology-Immunology, and his team showed how the herpes simplex virus (HSV) exploits microtubule plus-end tracking proteins to initiate transport and infection in human cells.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

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
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos