Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rutgers Researchers Offer New Insights Into Protein Implicated In Osteoporosis Cause And Cancer Spread

Date:
July 6, 1999
Source:
Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey
Summary:
Rutgers researchers and international colleagues develop new information on the role of the Osteopontin protein (currently under study for its role in metastatic cancer) in osteoporosis.

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers researchers David T. Denhardt and Susan R. Rittling, together with Hiroyuki Yoshitake and Masaki Noda of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, have announced new findings about a protein implicated in osteoporosis and metastatic cancer in the July 6 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Osteoporosis, one of the most common diseases affecting postmenopausal women, is a condition characterized by the progressive loss of bone density and thinning of bone tissue, resulting in increased fractures and diminished quality of life. In the United States, the number of patients is estimated at 12 million with an associated medical cost of about $1.2 billion.

The research explored the role of osteopontin (OPN), a protein produced by bone cells and regarded as functionally important in the regulation of bone metabolism. OPN is not required for normal bone development, but is required for certain types of bone remodeling and it strengthens the defenses of the body against certain forms of infection and injury. Considerable evidence also suggests that it facilitates the growth and spread (metastasis) of cancer cells. For this study, research methodology was designed to define more precisely the function of OPN and examine its effects on the onset of the bone resorption associated with osteoporosis.

"Susan Rittling, one of the co-authors and a research assistant professor at Rutgers, together with her colleagues developed a genetically altered strain of mice that lack the ability to produce OPN," said Denhardt, professor of cell biology and neuroscience with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick. "Dr. Noda's group surgically removed the ovaries from mice of this strain to simulate the fall-off of estrogen production in postmenopausal women when their ovarian function decreases. When compared with a series of various control samples, we found that mice lacking OPN were significantly more resistant to the bone loss that accompanies estrogen depletion."

While no information exists regarding OPN deficiency in humans, the investigations of the Rutgers scientists and their colleagues present a compelling argument that some postmenopausal women might be expected to show enhanced resistance to osteoporosis because they possess an altered form of OPN.

"We propose that OPN is essential for postmenopausal osteoporosis," state the researchers in the PNAS paper. "Strategies to counteract OPN's action may prove effective in suppressing osteoporosis. Genetic analyses may predict certain patients who could have high or low risk of postmenopausal bone loss. New approaches would be available for the development of anti-bone-resorptive drugs, particularly those designed to suppress the action of OPN."

It follows that if the role of OPN in increasing cancer metastasis can be fully delineated, another subject under investigation by Denhardt and his laboratory group, the strategies to control the action of OPN will have implications for the treatment of cancer, as well.

Copies of the paper ("Osteopontin-Deficient Mice are Resistant to Ovariectomy-Induced Bone Resorption") are available to reporters from the PNAS news office by calling (202) 334-2138 or by e-mailing pnasnews@nas.edu.

NOTE TO REPORTERS/EDITORS: Additional information on David T. Denhardt's laboratory and its research can also be obtained at http:\\lifesci.rutgers.edu/~denhardt/webpage.htm. He may also be reached for interviews by calling (732) 445-4569.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey. "Rutgers Researchers Offer New Insights Into Protein Implicated In Osteoporosis Cause And Cancer Spread." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990630104148.htm>.
Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey. (1999, July 6). Rutgers Researchers Offer New Insights Into Protein Implicated In Osteoporosis Cause And Cancer Spread. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990630104148.htm
Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey. "Rutgers Researchers Offer New Insights Into Protein Implicated In Osteoporosis Cause And Cancer Spread." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990630104148.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins