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

Researchers Identify Protein Key in Proliferation of Lymphoma Cells

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Inhibiting PERK protein could reduce formation of cancerous tumors.

A team of researchers from UCSF and the University of Pennsylvania has uncovered how a normal biological mechanism called the “unfolded protein response,” goes awry in human lymphoma - work that may lead to the development of specific drugs to fight different forms of cancer.

The unfolded protein response is something of a safety self-destruct valve - it protects against the potential toxicity of unfolded proteins by causing cells in which they accumulate to harmlessly implode. But during the development of lymphoma, it can also cause cells to proliferate.

Led by Davide Ruggero, PhD, a UCSF associate professor of urology, and Constantinos Koumenis, PhD, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the team showed how the unfolded protein response works in patients with human lymphomas and mice genetically bred to develop lymphomas. Instead of pushing the cancer cells toward self-destruction, it nudges them toward survival.

The work, described in an article published online recently by the Journal of Clinical Investigation, provides researchers with potential new targets for new drugs to fight cancer.

Specifically, they identified a human protein called PERK, which plays a central role in unfolded protein response. They showed that inhibiting PERK reduces the formation of tumors.

The research team also uncovered a main contributor to PERK activation: the activity of a cancer-related gene called c-Myc, which paradoxically switches on both cell proliferation and death. When the cell becomes cancerous, c-Myc–induced death is bypassed, promoting tumor formation.

“A critical feature of c-Myc-overexpressing cells is an increased rate of protein synthesis that is essential for Myc’s ability to cause cancer,” says Tom Cunningham, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Ruggero lab.

“Myc tumor cells use this aberrant production of proteins to block apoptosis [programmed cell death] and activate the unfolded protein response. These cancer cells depend on Myc-induced increases in protein abundance to survive,” said Ruggero.

Targeting protein synthesis downstream of Myc oncogenic activity may represent a promising new therapeutic window for cancer treatment, he added.

PERK is already an active target for drug design in academia and the pharmaceutical industry, but any drugs that are developed against it will have to undergo clinical trials for safety and effectiveness before they are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and commonly available as human patient therapies.

“Although data from our lab and other groups suggest that PERK inhibition in tumors grown in animals is feasible, other studies suggest that PERK plays a critical role in the function of secretory tissues such as the pancreas,” said Koumenis.

Koumenis continued, “Carefully testing the effects of new PERK inhibitors in animal models of lymphoma and other malignancies in the next couple of years should address this question and could open the way for new clinical trials with such agents.”


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 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ 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

Scientists Identify Key Biological Mechanism in Multiple Sclerosis
Imaging study finds potential new target to combat disease.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Well-Known Cell Protein Reveals New Tricks
Discovery of clathrin protein's key role in cell division could help understanding of cancer.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Scientific News
Lemon Juice and Human Norovirus
Citric acid may prevent the highly contagious norovirus from infecting humans, scientists discovered from the German Cancer Research Center.
Signature of Microbiomes Linked to Schizophrenia
Studying microbiomes in throat may help identify causes and treatments of brain disorder.
Structural Discoveries Could Aid in Better Drug Design
Scientists have uncovered the structural details of how some proteins interact to turn two different signals into a single integrated output.
Protein Found to Play a Key Role in Blocking Pathogen Survival
Calprotectin fends off microbial invaders by limiting access to iron, an important nutrient.
Study Identifies the Off Switch for Biofilm Formation
New discovery could help prevent the formation of infectious bacterial films on hospital equipment.
How DNA ‘Proofreader’ Proteins Pick and Edit Their Reading Material
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered how two important proofreader proteins know where to look for errors during DNA replication and how they work together to signal the body’s repair mechanism.
Protein Found to Control Inflammatory Response
A new Northwestern Medicine study shows that a protein called POP1 prevents severe inflammation and, potentially, diseases caused by excessive inflammatory responses.
X-ray Laser Experiment Could Help in Designing Drugs for Brain Disorders
Scientists found that when two protein structures in the brain join up, they act as an amplifier for a slight increase in calcium concentration, triggering a gunshot-like release of neurotransmitters from one neuron to another.
Team Identifies Structure of Tumor-Suppressing Protein
An international group of researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University physicists Mathias Lösche and Frank Heinrich have established the structure of an important tumor suppressing protein, PTEN.
Why We’re Smarter Than Chickens
Toronto researchers have discovered that a single molecular event in our cells could hold the key to how we evolved to become the smartest animal on the planet.
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!