Cutting protein tail of tumour suppressor can help fight cancerDecember 31st, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Dec 31 (ANI): In a breakthrough study, a cell biologist in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has shown how genetically removing the protein tail of a tumour suppressor can activate its ability to fight cancer.
Usually, the tumour-suppressor called PTEN lingers around in the cellular broth instead of muscling its way out to the cells membranes and foiling cancer growth.
It was curious that when we removed its tail, the protein suddenly was unhindered and moved out to the membrane and became active, said Meghdad Rahdar, a graduate student in pharmacology.
According to Dr. Peter Devreotes, professor and director of cell biology at Johns Hopkins, the discovery represents a potential new approach to cancer therapy.
A long-term goal is to find a drug that does the equivalent of our bit of genetic engineering, he said.
The flexible tail of the protein contains a cluster of four amino acids the building blocks of proteins that regulate PTEN.
These amino acids, when chemically modified, act to glue the tail back to the body of PTEN and prevent the attachment of PTEN to the membrane.
By genetically removing PTENs tail, or manipulating the cluster of four amino acids so that they cannot be modified, the researchers forced PTEN to move to the cell membrane.
Thats where PTEN it goes about its tumor-suppressing business of degrading a molecular signal called PIP3 that causes errant cell growth.
As far as I know, I havent seen anyone activate a tumor suppressor, but we seem to have done it genetically, said Rahdar.
Scientists said that manipulating such unbinding of PTEN with drugs is a viable alternative to guard against cell overgrowth, the hallmark of cancer.
The study was published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)
- Genetic predisposition for breast, kidney cancers discovered - Dec 23, 2010
- Combo therapy may overcome Herceptin-resistant breast cancer - Mar 14, 2011
- Mechanism that turns healthy cells into prostate cancer cells discovered - Dec 03, 2010
- New therapeutic target for lung cancer identified - Apr 01, 2011
- Aging-related protein holds breast cancer clues - Jan 28, 2011
- Gene that predisposes people to syndrome with high cancer risk identified - Dec 22, 2010
- Researchers link mutated protein to tumour growth - Sep 05, 2010
- Gene that protects tumour suppressor in breast cancer identified - Apr 07, 2009
- Slowing down prostate cancer by starving its cells - Nov 03, 2011
- Scientists complete whole-exome sequencing of skin cancer - Apr 16, 2011
- Red wine compound 'can give a boost to breast cancer treatment' - Feb 15, 2011
- New technique diagnoses brain cancers non-invasively - Jan 29, 2012
- Genetic change helps lung tumors spread to other parts of the body - Apr 07, 2011
- Potent anticancer drug isolated from weed - Jul 10, 2012
- Molecular predictor of metastatic prostate cancer identified - Feb 03, 2011
Tags: amino acids, breakthrough study, building blocks of proteins, cancer growth, cancer therapy, cell biologist, cell biology, cell membrane, fight cancer, flexible tail, johns hopkins university, johns hopkins university school, johns hopkins university school of medicine, long term goal, national academy of sciences, peter devreotes, proceedings of the national academy, proceedings of the national academy of sciences, pten, tumor suppressor