Study links MiR-29 molecule to muscle maturation, muscle cancer
When researchers look inside human cancer cells for the whereabouts of an important tumor-suppressor, they often catch the protein playing hooky, lolling around in cellular broth instead of muscling its way out to the cells’ membranes and foiling cancer growth. This phenomenon of delinquency puzzled scientists for a long time - until a cell biologist
Full Post: Scientists genetically grab PTEN by the tail to curtail cancer
Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered that a molecule implicated in leukemia and lung cancer is also important in muscle repair and in a muscle cancer that strikes mainly children.
The study shows that immature muscle cells require the molecule, called miR-29, to become mature, and that the molecule is nearly missing in cells from rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer caused by the proliferation of immature muscle cells.
Cells from human rhabdomyosarcoma tumors showed levels of the molecule that were 10 percent or less of those in normal muscle cells. Artificially raising the level of the molecule in the cancer cells cut their growth by half and caused them to begin maturing, slowing down tumor growth.
MiR-29 is a type of microRNA, a family of molecules that helps regulate the proteins cells produce. Researchers say this study is unusual because it also sheds light on the how a microRNA itself is regulated.
“This study shows that there is a connection between this microRNA, muscle development and rhabdomyosarcoma,” says principal investigator Denis C. Guttridge, associate professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and a researcher with Ohio State’s human cancer genetics program.
“The findings should give us a better understanding of muscle repair and development, and of rhabdomyosarcoma, and could lead to new treatments for this and other muscle diseases,” he says.
The study is published in a recent issue of the journal Cancer Cell.
Guttridge and his colleagues discovered that the gene for miR-29 is silenced by the action of a protein, called NF-?? (pronounced, NF kappa B). Their study shows that this protein is present at high levels in rhabdomyosarcoma cells, and that this keeps miR-29 shut off, preventing muscle progenitor cells from maturing.
When they raised the level of the microRNA molecule in the cells, or lowered the level of the NF-?? protein, the cells’ growth rate dropped two fold, and they began taking on the appearance of mature muscle cells. The modified cells also formed significantly smaller tumors when transplanted into an animal model than did typical rhabdomyosarcoma cells.
“High levels of the protein silence miR-29, which blocks differentiation, causing muscle cells to remain immature. If we can restore the levels of miR-29 in patients,” Guttridge says, “it might provide a new therapy for this childhood cancer and perhaps other muscle diseases.”
Anabolic steroids are chemicals that resemble naturally produced hormones produced in the body. These steroids are widely used by athletes who want to build strong muscles. The anabolic steroids are generally used for certain hormone imbalances, muscle wasting diseases, cancer and endocrine disorders. Anabolic steroids also have virilizing and androgenic properties, which are related to masculine
Full Post: About Anabolic Steroids
A protein known to inhibit the growth of ovarian cancer works in part by forcing cancer cells to eat themselves until they die, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report in the Nov. 15 issue of Cancer Research. The research team also found that expression of the protein, known as
Full Post: PEA-15 protein points to potential targeted approach for ovarian cancer
UC Davis Cancer Center researchers report today the discovery of a molecule that targets glioblastoma, a highly deadly form of cancer. The finding, which is published in the January 2009 issue of the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging , provides hope for effectively treating an incurable cancer. Glioblastoma is the most common
Full Post: Discovery of molecule that targets brain tumors
Ovarian cancer cells are “addicted” to a family of proteins produced by the notorious oncogene, MYC. Blocking these Myc proteins halts cell proliferation in the deadliest cancer of the female reproductive system, according to a presentation by University of California, Berkeley scientists at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) 48th Annual Meeting, Dec. 13-17,
Full Post: Blocking Myc proteins stops ovarian cancer cell cycle in its tracks
CANCER RESEARCH UK scientists have linked cancer clues in faulty cells to provide a new route to cancer development, reveals a study published in Developmental Cell. Cancer is a disease caused by uncontrolled cell growth and division and understanding the complex molecular networks inside cells which regulate these processes is fundamental to understanding what goes
Full Post: Scientists establish completely new route to cancer development