Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
RNAi
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 2,400+ 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

Environmental Carcinogens Leave Distinctive Genetic Imprints in Tumors
Chemically induced tumors bear ‘smoking gun’ traces that sharply differentiate them from genetically engineered cancers.
Thursday, November 06, 2014
Supreme Court Rules That Human Genes Can’t Be Patented
Most agree that the ruling reduces barriers to genetic testing and enables scientists to further genetic research and share data aimed ultimately at preventing and curing disease.
Friday, June 14, 2013
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
UCSF, Mayo Team Discovers Genomic Variant that Increases Risk of Brain Tumors
The findings could help researchers identify people at risk of developing certain subtypes of gliomas.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Research Offers New Hope for HIV/AIDS Patients with Cancer
Proposed treatment for herpes virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma receives translational research funding.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Scientific News
Long Telomeres Associated with Increased Lung Cancer Risk
Genetic predisposition for long telomeres predicts increased lung adenocarcinoma risk.
First Artificial Ribosome Designed
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins and enzymes within the cell.
Identifying a Key Growth Factor in Cell Proliferation
Researchers discover that aspartate is a limiter of cell proliferation.
A Gene-Sequence Swap Using CRISPR to Cure Haemophilia
For the first time chromosomal defects responsible for hemophilia have been corrected in patient-specific iPSCs using CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases
New Tool Uses 'Drug Spillover' to Match Cancer Patients with Treatments
Researchers have developed a new tool that improves the ability to match drugs to disease: the Kinase Addiction Ranker (KAR) predicts what genetics are truly driving the cancer in any population of cells and chooses the best "kinase inhibitor" to silence these dangerous genetic causes of disease.
New Material Opens Possibilities for Super-Long-Acting Pills
A pH-responsive polymer gel could create swallow able devices, including capsules for ultra-long drug delivery.
New Tool For Investigating RNA Gone Awry
A new technology – called “Sticky-flares” – developed by nanomedicine experts at Northwestern University offers the first real-time method to track and observe the dynamics of RNA distribution as it is transported inside living cells.
Access Denied: Leukemia Thwarted by Cutting Off Link to Environmental Support
A new study reveals a protein’s critical – and previously unknown -- role in the development and progression of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-growing and extremely difficult-to-treat blood cancer.
New Weapon in the Fight Against Blood Cancer
This strategy, which uses patients’ own immune cells, genetically engineered to target tumors, has shown significant success against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells that is largely incurable.
TOPLESS Plants Provide Clues to Human Molecular Interactions
Scientists at Van Andel Research Institute have revealed an important molecular mechanism in plants that has significant similarities to certain signaling mechanisms in humans, which are closely linked to early embryonic development and to diseases such as cancer.
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
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!