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

New Protein Knowledge Offers Hope for Better Cancer Treatment

Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have developed a sophisticated method for identifying modified proteins that affect a cell's ability to repair DNA damage.

This offers hope for improving treatment options for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer using the latest type of treatments involving the so-called PARP inhibitors.

When the pharmaceutical industry develops new medicines – for example for cancer treatment – it is important to have detailed knowledge of the body’s molecular response to the medicine.

"With a better knowledge of the many complex processes which are activated in connection with illness and medication, the better the possibility of developing new drugs. We have now moved closer to targeting and treating certain cancers using the so-called PARP inhibitors – medical inhibitors used in the latest types of cancer treatment. Certain types of tumours rely heavily on PARP proteins in order to self-repair, and PARP inhibitors can be used specifically to kill cancer cells," says Michael Lund Nielsen, Associate Professor at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen.

The researchers have developed an advanced method for identifying the proteins which are modified with ADP-ribosylation – a biological modification affecting a cell’s ability to repair DNA damage. The research findings have just been published in the scientific journal Molecular Cell.

The forms of cancer causing most deaths among women are lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer and ovarian cancer. PARP inhibitors appear to be an effective treatment for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, but little is known about the treatment details. Our new analysis method can help shed light on precisely how the PARP inhibitor treatment is working because it can offer us more knowledge about the biological function of PARP proteins.  In the long term, it will enable us to design better and more precise PARP inhibitors, says Michael Lund Nielsen, Associate Professor at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research.

DNA repair crucial for cell health

Every day, our DNA is exposed to damage which our healthy cells are capable of repairing and thus keep healthy. But the ability of certain cancer cells to repair their own DNA damage is impaired compared to standard cells and this is exploited using PARP inhibitors which block the repair systems of cancer cells.  In principle, PARP inhibitors both damage healthy and cancer cells, but normal cells have different survival mechanisms in comparison to cancer cells. PARP inhibitors therefore appear to offer new and much improved cancer treatment options.

Treatment with PARP inhibitors

PARP treatment is a new and individualised type of cancer treatment. It is a so-called targeted treatment which exploits a weakness inherent in cancer cells. PARP inhibitors have yet to be marketed, but many companies are testing them in clinical (phase 1-3) trials. So far, the PARP inhibitors are only available for experimental purposes.

"Our analysis method makes it possible to map the movement of PARP inhibitors, opening up possibilities for the optimised treatment of breast and ovarian cancers with fewer side effects. It is also being examined whether PARP inhibitors can be used in combination with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy in connection with other cancers. In particular, radiation therapy produces many unpleasant side effects, but there are indications that optimised treatment could be achieved by combining radiation therapy with PARP inhibitors, as PARP inhibitors make cancer cells more susceptible to radiation therapy," says Michael Lund Nielsen.

Using radiation and chemical compounds, the researchers started by damaging the DNA in cells. They then isolated proteins modified with the ADP-ribosylation and identified them using mass spectrometry, a technique making it possible to determine a protein’s identity and the sites where the ADP-ribosylation chemical changes occur.


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 3,800+ 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

World’s Tiniest Drug Cabinets could be Attached to Cancerous Cells for Long Term Treatment
Reservoirs of pharmaceuticals could be manufactured to bind specifically to infected tissue such as cancer cells for slow, concentrated delivery of drug treatments.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Genetic Aberration Paves the Way for New Treatment of Cancer Disease
Research was recently published in Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.
Friday, November 08, 2013
Discovering the Secrets of Tumour Growth
Scientists have identified a compound that blocks the expression of a protein without which certain tumours cannot grow.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Grants Attract Top Researchers to Copenhagen
Two international leading researchers have each been awarded a Novo Nordisk Foundation Laureate Research Grant of DKK 40 million (€ 5.36 million).
Monday, January 28, 2013
Scientific News
Microscopic Fish are 3D-Printed to do More Than Swim
Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities.
Inciting an Immune Attack on Cancer Cells
A new minimally invasive vaccine that combines cancer cells and immune-enhancing factors could be used clinically to launch a destructive attack on tumors.
Reprogramming Cancer Cells
Researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have discovered a way to potentially reprogram cancer cells back to normalcy.
New Strategy for Combating Adenoviruses
Using an animal model they developed, Saint Louis University and Utah State university researchers have identified a strategy that could keep a common group of viruses called adenoviruses from replicating and causing sickness in humans.
Surprising Mechanism Behind Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Uncovered
Now, scientists at TSRI have discovered that the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, develops resistance to this drug by “switching on” a previously uncharacterized set of genes.
Fat in the Family?
Study could lead to therapeutics that boost metabolism.
Imaging Software Could Speed Up Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Researchers use high speed optical microscopy of intact breast tissue specimens to analyze breast tissue.
A Metabolic Master Switch Underlying Human Obesity
Researchers find pathway that controls metabolism by prompting fat cells to store or burn fat.
Synthetic DNA Vaccine Against MERS Shows Promise
A novel synthetic DNA vaccine can, for the first time, induce protective immunity against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in animal species.
How Small RNA Helps Form Memories
In a new study, a team of scientists at Scripps Florida has found that a type of genetic material called "microRNA" (miRNA) plays surprisingly different roles in the formation of memory in animal models.
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!