Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Epstein-Barr Virus Linked To Invasive Breast Cancer And Lymphoma; University Of Michigan Scientists Find Virus Releases Molecular Brake On Roaming Cancer Cells

Date:
March 1, 2001
Source:
University Of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Scientists in the University of Michigan Medical School have found a molecular link between aggressive breast and lymphatic cancers and the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis.

ANN ARBOR, MI - Scientists in the University of Michigan Medical School have found a molecular link between aggressive breast and lymphatic cancers and the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis.

Related Articles


In a paper published in the March 2001 issue of Nature Medicine, U-M scientists show how the Epstein-Barr virus alters the function of a cellular protein that normally suppresses the movement of malignant cells. When this natural brake on cell migration is disabled by the virus, cancerous breast and lymphatic cells are free to metastasize or spread.

"This is the first evidence of a human virus associated with the development of cancerous tumors targeting a cellular protein to promote the migration of malignant cells," says Erle S. Robertson, Ph.D., who directed the study. Robertson is an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology in the U-M Medical School and a researcher in the U-M's Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"The Epstein-Barr virus is associated with many human cancers -- including Burkitt's lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Hodgkin's disease and invasive breast cancer," Robertson says.

The virus is very common. More than 90 percent of adults show signs of previous viral infection. Adolescents infected with the acute phase of the virus can develop infectious mononucleosis, but usually the body's natural immune response forces the virus to revert to its latent phase -- where it hides inside the nucleus of immune cells called lymphocytes without producing any symptoms.

Even though the virus is endemic in humans, Robertson emphasizes that most cells infected by the virus may never become malignant. Additional genetic factors are required to trigger development of cancer. Should cancer develop, however, Robertson says the risk of metastasis may be higher in individuals previously exposed to the virus.

"People with aggressive forms of cancer are most vulnerable and should be checked to determine the status of previous viral exposure when physicians are choosing the most appropriate treatment for them," Robertson says. "It also would be wise to closely monitor people with a history of active Epstein-Barr viral infection for early signs of cancer."

In the study, Chitra Subramanian, Ph.D., a U-M research fellow, and Murray A. Cotter II, a U-M graduate student, investigated a gene from the Epstein-Barr virus called EBNA-3C, and the protein produced by infected lymphocytes when this gene is expressed. The EBNA-3C protein was found in all EBV-infected cancerous lymphocytes in the breast cancer and lymphoma cell lines analyzed in the study.

U-M researchers discovered that the EBNA-3C protein binds to a human metastatic suppressor protein called Nm23-H1, which is found in all human cells. "The interaction between the two proteins disables Nm23-H1's natural ability to keep malignant cells in their original location thereby promoting metastasis," explains Robertson.

"We have mapped the binding site to one region of the viral protein EBNA-3C and hope in future research to identify the exact location on the targeted protein," Robertson says. "Our goal is to find the binding site and discover how to block the interaction between these two proteins.

"If we succeed, physicians could one day be able to treat primary breastand lymphatic cancers, as well as other cancers associated with the Epstein-Barr virus, without worrying about malignant cells spreading to other parts of the body."

The research study was funded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America and the National Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan Health System. "Epstein-Barr Virus Linked To Invasive Breast Cancer And Lymphoma; University Of Michigan Scientists Find Virus Releases Molecular Brake On Roaming Cancer Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010301072749.htm>.
University Of Michigan Health System. (2001, March 1). Epstein-Barr Virus Linked To Invasive Breast Cancer And Lymphoma; University Of Michigan Scientists Find Virus Releases Molecular Brake On Roaming Cancer Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010301072749.htm
University Of Michigan Health System. "Epstein-Barr Virus Linked To Invasive Breast Cancer And Lymphoma; University Of Michigan Scientists Find Virus Releases Molecular Brake On Roaming Cancer Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010301072749.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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