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

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 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,800+ 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

UCSF Immunologist to Head New Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
Renowned UC San Francisco immunologist Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, has been named president and CEO of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, a national initiative launched with a $250 million grant from The Parker Foundation.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
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
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
Discovered Through ‘Big Data’ Analysis
Researchers at the SBP have identified over 100 new genetic regions that affect the immune response to cancer.
New Therapeutic Targets For Small Cell Lung Cancer Identified
Researchers at UTSW Medical Center have identified a protein termed ASCL1 that is essential to the development of small cell lung cancer and that, when deleted in the lungs of mice, prevents the cancer from forming.
Liquid Biopsies Treating Ovarian Cancer
Researchers have discovered a promising monitor and treat recurrence of ovarian cancer. Detecting cancer long before tumours reappear.
Cell Cargo Ships in Near Future?
Virus-inspired container design may lead to cell cargo ships following construction of ten large, two-component, icosahedral protein complexes.
Uncovering a New Principle in Chemotherapy Resistance in Breast Cancer
The NIH study has revealed an entirely unexpected process for acquiring drug resistance that bypasses the need to re-establish DNA damage repair in breast cancers that have mutant BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Understanding Treatment Resistant Melanoma
Researchers have determined how advanced melanoma becomes resistant; a development toward developing treatments.
Liquid Biopsies: DNA Size Matters
Study finds circulating tumour DNA can be distinguished from healthy DNA through fragment size identification.
Unravelling the Roots of Insect’s Waterproof Coating
Researchers have identified the genes that control cuticular lipid production in Drosophila, by performing an RNAi screen and using Direct Analysis in Real Time and GC-MS.
Identifying Cancer Drug Targets Using 3D-Modelling
Researchers are now able to model genetic mutations manipulation of proteins that can potentially drive cancer.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
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
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!