Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Transgenic Mice Aid Research Into Deadly Cancer

Date:
October 17, 2000
Source:
National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases
Summary:
Scientists will be better able to fight Burkitt's lymphoma, a rare but deadly cancer that attacks children and AIDS patients, now that they have achieved a decades-long goal of genetically engineering mice to develop the disease. These transgenic mice are a powerful new tool researchers will use to understand the molecular and genetic components of this cancer.

Scientists will be better able to fight Burkitt's lymphoma, a rare but deadly cancer that attacks children and AIDS patients, now that they have achieved a decades-long goal of genetically engineering mice to develop the disease. These transgenic mice are a powerful new tool researchers will use to understand the molecular and genetic components of this cancer.

Previous attempts to engineer such "Burkitt's mice" failed, but a team of scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) finally came up with the right genetic mix. "We in effect created a 'mini-gene' that reproduces the cancer as it occurs in people," says Herbert C. Morse III, M.D., chief of the immunopathology lab at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The results of this work, supported by NIAID and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), are detailed in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

"This new animal model may allow researchers to find ways to treat Burkitt's patients who don't respond to the standard treatment," says Dr. Morse. "It will also help us understand why the cells 'go bad' to cause this malignancy." Scientists still don't know all the factors that contribute to Burkitt's lymphoma in people, despite having created Burkitt's mice.

Scientists do know that Burkitt's lymphoma arises in the immune system, and that the groundwork for the cancer is laid when a gene called MYC (pronounced "mick") is accidentally moved from its usual spot on chromosome 8 to a new location, often on chromosome 14. Normally, the MYC gene, which stimulates cell growth, is strictly controlled by nearby regulator genes on chromosome 8. But when MYC slips away to a different chromosome, it also evades its controls. Under the looser supervision of regulatory genes that govern the immune system, MYC "goes ripping out of control," Dr. Morse explains, causing runaway growth of the immune system's B cells, which in turn leads to tumors called lymphomas.

But scientists have much more to learn about how other genetic mutations, environmental factors and infectious agents, such as the Epstein-Barr virus, work together to cause Burkitt's lymphoma. In fact, studying the Burkitt's mice may lead to new understandings about why some people are predisposed to Burkitt's lymphoma, while other people are predisposed to other kinds of cancers, says Siegfried Janz, M.D., of NCI. "The only way to find this out is to invest basic research into mouse models of cancer," he argues. Clinicians might also use such a mouse model to test new treatments, he adds.

Achieving a Burkitt's mouse would not have been possible without previous work done by other NIAID scientists, Morse notes, particularly Janet Hartley, Ph.D., and Torgny Frederickson, Ph.D., who have spent years examining lymphomas in mice. The success also owes much to collaborator George Bornkamm, M.D., and his team at the Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology and Tumor Genetics in Munich, Germany.

Burkitt's lymphoma was first identified in 1958 by Denis Parsons Burkitt, an English surgeon in Africa who noticed it among the children there. The disease accounts for over half of all childhood cancers in Africa, where it affects about two out of 100,000 children every year. Incidence in Western countries is much lower, but has been on the rise with the spread of AIDS, since the cancer also strikes adults with compromised immune systems.

NIAID is a component of the NIH. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immune-mediated illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.

###

Reference:S Janz, HC Morse III, et al. Burkitt's lymphoma in the mouse. Journal of Experimental Medicine 92(8):1183-90 (2000).

Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Transgenic Mice Aid Research Into Deadly Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001016094939.htm>.
National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. (2000, October 17). Transgenic Mice Aid Research Into Deadly Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001016094939.htm
National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Transgenic Mice Aid Research Into Deadly Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001016094939.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
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