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

New Mechanism Explains How Cancer Cells Spread

Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Last Updated: Thursday, May 29, 2014
Bookmark and Share
A protein critical to the spread of deadly cancer cells has been identified and how it works determined.

UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer researchers have identified a protein critical to the spread of deadly cancer cells and determined how it works, paving the way for potential use in diagnosis and eventually possible therapeutic drugs to halt or slow the spread of cancer.

The protein, Aiolos, is produced by normal blood cells but commits a kind of “identity theft” of blood cells when expressed by cancer cells, allowing the latter to metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body. Metastatic cancer cells have the ability to break free from tissue, circulate in the blood stream, and form tumors all over the body, in a way acting like blood cells.

“This is an important discovery because the metastatic spread of tumors accounts for the vast majority of cancer-related deaths. Now that we know the role of Aiolos, we can look toward therapeutic intervention,” said Dr. Lance Terada, Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of the Division of Pulmonary/Critical Medicine at UT Southwestern.

The research, available online and in the journal Cancer Cell, found that Aiolos, which frequently is expressed in lung cancers, is a predictor of a markedly worse prognosis in lung cancer patients.

Aiolos is a member of a class of proteins called transcription factors — proteins that control which genes are turned on or off by binding to DNA and other proteins. Once bound to DNA, these proteins can promote or block the enzyme that controls the reading, or “transcription,” of genes, making genes more or less active.

Aiolos decreases the production of cell adhesion proteins and disrupts critical cell adhesion processes, including processes that allow tissue cells to anchor to their physical environment, a necessary requirement for cells to survive and spread. Metastatic cells don’t need this adhesion, allowing them to proliferate instead. Aiolos also represses another protein called p66Shc, which otherwise would suppress metastatic ability, which is the ability of the cancer cells to spread.

“Despite their importance, cellular behaviors that are largely responsible for cancer mortality are poorly understood,” Dr. Terada said. “Our study reveals a central mechanism by which cancer cells acquire blood cell characteristics to gain metastatic ability and furthers our understanding in this area.”

The research was done in collaboration with a team from the Tianjin Medical University, China, led by Dr. Zhe Liu, a former postdoctoral research fellow of Dr. Terada and co-corresponding author on the paper. Other UT Southwestern researchers involved include Dr. John Minna, Professor of the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research, Internal Medicine, and Pharmacology, and Dr. Luc Girard, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology.

Dr. Minna and Dr. Girard are members of UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in North Texas and one of just 66 NCI-designated cancer centers in the nation. The Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center includes 13 major cancer care programs with a focus on treating the whole patient with innovative treatments, while fostering groundbreaking basic research that has the potential to improve patient care and prevention of cancer worldwide. In addition, the Center’s education and training programs support and develop the next generation of cancer researchers and clinicians.


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

HIV Protein Manipulates Hundreds of Human Genes
Findings search for new or improved treatments for patients with AIDS.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Researchers Find a Small Protein that Plays a Big Role in Heart Muscle Contraction
New protein, DWORF, stimulates a calcium-ion pump that controls muscle contraction.
Friday, January 15, 2016
UTSW-led Study Establishes Biomarkers to Help Diagnose, Treat Psychosis
In this study, the Bipolar-Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes identified three neurobiologically distinct biotypes.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Physiologists Uncover a New Code at the Heart of Biology
New “code” - the speed limit of assembly - dictate the ultimate function of a given protein.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Cell that Replenishes Heart Muscle Found by UT Southwestern Researchers
Researchers devise a new cell-tracing technique to detect cells that do replenish themselves.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Researchers Find Molecular Mechanisms within Fetal Lungs that Initiate Labor
Biochemists found that steroid receptor coactivators 1 and 2 (SRC-1 and SRC-2) proteins control genes.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
MAGE Genes Provide Insight into Optimizing Chemotherapy
UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have identified a new biomarker that could help identify patients who are more likely to respond to certain chemotherapies.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Researchers Find New Mechanism That Controls Immune Responses
The findings appear online in the journal Science.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Protein Variant may Boost Cardiovascular Risk by Hindering Blood Vessel Repair
Researchers have found that apoE3 helps repair the lining of blood vessels.
Friday, September 19, 2014
UTSW Cancer Researchers Identify Irreversible Inhibitor for KRAS Gene Mutation
Irreversible inhibitor for KRAS gene mutation involved in lung, colon, and pancreatic cancers.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
UT Southwestern Researcher Selected for ASBMB Merck Award
Award recognizes Dr. Zhijian Chen’s outstanding contributions to research in biochemistry and molecular biology.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Cellular Force That Drives Allergy and Asthma Can be Blocked by Interferon
Type I interferons block the development of allergy- and asthma-driving Th2 cells.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Proteins Causing Daytime Sleepiness Also Tied to Bone Formation
Orexin proteins provide target for osteoporosis, UT Southwestern researchers find.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Stem Cell Study Opens Door to Undiscovered World of Biology
Discovery published in Nature measures protein production.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Dr. Beth Levine Receives 2014 Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award
Award recognizes Dr. Levine’s fundamental contributions to the understanding of autophagy.
Friday, February 07, 2014
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.
"Dark Side" of the Transcriptome
New approach to quantifying gene "read-outs" reveals important variations in protein synthesis and has implications for understanding neurodegenerative diseases.
Advancing Synthetic Biology
Living systems rely on a dizzying variety of chemical reactions essential to development and survival. Most of these involve a specialized class of protein molecules — the enzymes.
Structure of Brain Plaques in Huntington's
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have shown that the core of the protein clumps found in the brains of people with Huntington's disease have a distinctive structure, a finding that could shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the neurodegenerative disorder.
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.
Pumpjack" Mechanism for Splitting and Copying DNA
High-resolution structural details of cells' DNA-replicating proteins offer new insight into how these molecular machines function
The Power of Three
Overlooked portion of cell “death receptor” critical in some cancers, autoimmune diseases.
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.
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.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
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!