Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Identify New Target Of Protein Involved In Cancerous Cell Growth

Date:
May 31, 2004
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health
Summary:
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions have identified a new target of a cancer-causing gene. The new target of the Ras oncoprotein is an enzyme required to produce a molecular anchor that allows certain proteins to stick to the cell surface.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions have identified a new target of a cancer-causing gene. The new target of the Ras oncoprotein is an enzyme required to produce a molecular anchor that allows certain proteins to stick to the cell surface. These molecules, known as GPI-anchored proteins, regulate the way cells interact and connect with one another. GPI-anchored proteins are also used by parasites, such as the Plasmodium that causes malaria, to protect themselves against the body's immune defenses. The discovery may provide a new understanding of how tumor cells become malignant and how parasites defend themselves against the body's immune system. The findings, which are published in the May 28, 2004, issue of the journal Cell, could open new avenues of research in the development of treatments for cancers and parasitic infections.

Related Articles


"Scientists have known for many years that Ras proteins work as molecular 'on/off' switches that can change the way cells grow, and interact with other cells. Mutated forms of Ras that are locked in the 'on' position are involved in about 30 percent of all human cancers. Our study identifies a new way in which these forms of Ras may drive tumor progression," said David Levin, PhD, co-author of the study and a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

For their study, Dr. Levin and his colleagues observed Ras interaction with an enzyme required for the synthesis of GPI-anchors in yeast cells. They found that yeast Ras inhibited the enzyme, thus interfering with the production of cell surface GPI-anchored proteins. In a Ras-driven cancer cell, such regulation of cell surface proteins may enable individual cells to break away from the primary tumor, a key to the spread of cancer to distant sites. Dr. Levin explained that parasites produce GPI-anchored cell surface proteins as a way to defend against the host's antibodies. Further research is planned to determine if production of GPI-anchored proteins is similarly regulated in animal and parasite cells.

"If Ras regulates the production of GPI-anchored proteins in cancer cells, drugs can be designed to interfere with that regulation and prevent the cancer from spreading," said Dr. Levin.

The authors of "Yeast Ras Regulates the Complex that Catalyzes the First Step in GPI-Anchor Biosynthesis at the ER" include Andrew K. Sobering and Martin J. Romeo, of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Reika Watanbe and Howard Riezman are with the University of Geneva. Benjamin C. Yan and Peter Orlean are with the University of Illinois. Charles A. Specht is with the Boston University School of Medicine.

Funding was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Human Frontiers Science Program Organization and the Swiss National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. "Researchers Identify New Target Of Protein Involved In Cancerous Cell Growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040528000606.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. (2004, May 31). Researchers Identify New Target Of Protein Involved In Cancerous Cell Growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040528000606.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. "Researchers Identify New Target Of Protein Involved In Cancerous Cell Growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040528000606.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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