Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Double Dealing Receptor Protein On Tumors Promotes Cancer Development In Cell Nucleus

Date:
September 28, 2004
Source:
University Of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Summary:
Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center now have evidence that receptors found on tumors that were believed to function only on the surface of cells can actually switch on genes inside a cell's nucleus, thus promoting cancer development in two distinct ways.

HOUSTON - Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center now have evidence that receptors found on tumors that were believed to function only on the surface of cells can actually switch on genes inside a cell's nucleus, thus promoting cancer development in two distinct ways.

Related Articles


They specifically found that HER-2 cell surface receptors, known to promote breast and other cancers when they allow too many growth signals to enter a cell, can actually travel into the nucleus and turn on a variety of genes, including COX-2, which also is associated with carcinogenesis.

The discovery, published in the September issue of the journal Cancer Cell, likely will revolutionize the way scientists think about membrane receptors, says the study's lead author, Mien-Chie Hung, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Molecular & Cellular Oncology.

"For a number of years, researchers have found membrane receptors associated with cancer development in the nucleus of cells, but they believed these were just debris left over from the receptor's primary job, which is to shuttle signals into a cell," says Hung.

"Here we find that a receptor protein known to be important in one cancer pathway also can enter a cell's nucleus to turn on genes associated with a different carcinogenesis pathway," he says. "Proof of the dual nature of these receptors may well change the nature of research associated with them and, possibly, treatment strategy."

The team of researchers revealed the double-dealing nature of the HER-2 protein receptor after they developed a new cloning and bioinformatics technique to track the path of the receptor. This technology, they say, can now be used by scientists to look for duplicitous behavior in other cell surface proteins.

They developed a method to remove the membrane and outer portion of a cancer cell so that little more than the nucleus was left, and then used an antibody that attached to the HER-2 protein to detect what the receptor protein was doing. They found that HER-2 did attach to a number of genes in the nucleus, one of which is the "promoter" region of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). In other words, HER-2 was activating the transcription of COX-2.

"Each works in a completely different way, and no one thought that one could be regulating the other," Hung says.

Up to 30 percent of breast cancers "over-express" the HER-2 cell surface protein, which pushes the cell to grow. Over-expression of COX-2 does not allow a damaged cell to die and also is associated with cancer cell invasion and metastasis, he says.

Both also are targets for cancer treatments: the breast cancer drug Herceptin has proven beneficial in delaying progression in women whose tumors are HER-2 positive, and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), which slows down expression of COX-2 is being tested as a chemopreventive agent in people who are at high risk of developing certain cancers.

Hung says now that the technology has been developed, researchers can track a variety of membrane receptor tyrosine kinases that have been found inside the nucleus, many of them regulate a variety of cell functions, including proliferation, differentiation and survival. These include other epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR), of which HER-2 is a member, the vascular epithelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors known to stimulate tumor angiogenesis, and insulin receptors, among many others.

"Science is based on available technology," he says. "And now we can have a peephole into the nucleus that I believe will open up whole new avenues of research."

###

The study was funded by National Institutes of Health grants, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship. Co-authors include Shao-Chun Wang, Ph.D., Huang-Chun Lien, M.D., Weiya Xia, M.D., I-Fen Chen, Ph.D., Hui-Wen Lo, Ph.D., Zhiqin Wang, M.S., Mohamed Ali-Seyed, Ph.D., Dung-Fang Lee, M.S., Geoffrey Bartholomeusz, Ph.D., Fu Ou-Yang, M.D. and Dipak K. Giri, Ph.D. All of the authors are associated with the Department of Molecular & Cellular Oncology except for Huang-Chun Lei, who is now at National Taiwan University Hospital in Taiwan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Double Dealing Receptor Protein On Tumors Promotes Cancer Development In Cell Nucleus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040921083321.htm>.
University Of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. (2004, September 28). Double Dealing Receptor Protein On Tumors Promotes Cancer Development In Cell Nucleus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040921083321.htm
University Of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Double Dealing Receptor Protein On Tumors Promotes Cancer Development In Cell Nucleus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040921083321.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) At least 1 in 5,000 U.S. babies are born each year with intersex conditions _ ambiguous genitals because of genetic glitches or hormone problems. Secrecy and surgery are common. But some doctors and activists are trying to change things. (April 17) 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:

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