Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential New Oncogene May Be Missing Link In Cancer-causing Chain

Date:
October 26, 2004
Source:
Washington University School Of Medicine
Summary:
High levels of a protein called LRP6 can make cancer cells more aggressive, according to Washington University researchers affiliated with the Siteman Cancer Center. The protein's ability to enhance tumor development suggests that the gene that codes for LRP6 is an oncogene--a gene that contributes to tumor development when overactivated.

St. Louis (Oct. 25, 2004) -- High levels of a protein called LRP6 can make cancer cells more aggressive, according to Washington University researchers affiliated with the Siteman Cancer Center. The protein's ability to enhance tumor development suggests that the gene that codes for LRP6 is an oncogene--a gene that contributes to tumor development when overactivated.

Related Articles


"Because no one has ever connected LRP6 to proliferation in tumors, we believe we may have identified a new oncogene," says Guojun Bu, Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics and of cell biology and physiology. The findings will be reported in the December 2nd issue of the journal Oncogene. The article is available online Oct. 25.

"In several types of human cancer, such as breast and colon cancer, a key cell signaling pathway that regulates cell growth and development is overactive because a gene coding for a pathway component has mutated," Bu says.

Increased signal activity from this pathway can lead to abnormal cell proliferation and ultimately to cancer, but researchers have been unable to identify the pathway component responsible for certain types of cancer such as breast cancer. "We believe LRP6 may be the missing link, the long-sought component that turns up the activity of this signaling pathway," Bu says.

To uncover LRP6's role in cancer, Bu's team took slow-growing cancer cells and altered the LRP6 gene so that it made more of the protein. They found that the cancer cells began proliferating more rapidly as a result. When the researchers introduced these aggressive cells into mice, the animals developed tumors twice as large as those caused by the original, slow-growing cancer cells.

Having seen the effect of high-levels of LRP6 in laboratory experiments, Bu and his team looked for higher-than-normal LRP6 gene activity in human tumor samples. "We used patient-matched tumor specimens from the Siteman Cancer Center," Bu says. "We found both colon and breast cancer samples with increased LRP6 gene activity."

"The most interesting was breast cancer," he says. "We found the LRP6 gene had higher than normal activity in five of the eight breast tumors we tested. So, it appears that an increase of LRP6 alone may lead to breast cancer in these cases."

Next Bu and his colleagues plan to screen a larger group of breast cancer samples to see how frequently the LRP6 gene is overactivated in tumor tissue. Because LRP6 is an essential component of a key signaling pathway and located in an exposed position on the surface of cells, Bu believes the protein may be a good target for drugs that decrease its function to slow down or prevent the progression of some types of cancer.

###

Li Y, Lu W, He X, Schwartz AL, Bu G. LRP6 expression promotes cancer cell proliferation and tumorigenesis by altering -catenin subcellular distribution. Oncology, Dec 2, 2004.

Funding from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health supported this research.

Washington University School of Medicine's full-time and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University School Of Medicine. "Potential New Oncogene May Be Missing Link In Cancer-causing Chain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041025121049.htm>.
Washington University School Of Medicine. (2004, October 26). Potential New Oncogene May Be Missing Link In Cancer-causing Chain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041025121049.htm
Washington University School Of Medicine. "Potential New Oncogene May Be Missing Link In Cancer-causing Chain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041025121049.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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:

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