Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Kidnapped: Colon Cancer Seizes Hapless Nerve Growth Protein

Date:
January 19, 2006
Source:
American Society for Cell Biology
Summary:
No form of cancer is better at flipping normal cell mechanisms for growth and movement into sinister contraptions for evasion and invasion than aggressive colorectal tumors. Kidnapping is a particular talent, especially along the cancer's invasive edges. That's where researcher Avri Ben-Ze'ev from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel found an unlikely hostage to colorectal cancer in L1, a protein more commonly produced by growing nerve cells.

Cancer works its malignant will by standing cell life on its head. No form of cancer is better at flipping normal cell mechanisms for growth and movement into sinister contraptions for evasion and invasion than aggressive colorectal tumors. Kidnapping is a particular talent, especially along the cancer's invasive edges. That's where Avri Ben-Ze'ev and colleagues at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and elsewhere found an unlikely hostage to colorectal cancer in L1, a protein more commonly produced by growing nerve cells. Their findings were presented recently at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.

Related Articles


Ben-Ze'ev and Nancy Gavert, a surgeon and current Ph.D. student--were led to the kidnapped nerve cell protein, L1, by their long-term interest in beta-catenin, a cadherin-binding protein, known to also activate genes in various types of cancer. In previous studies, the Ben-Ze'ev lab identified several beta-catenin target genes that are involved in development of malignant melanoma and colon cancer. The co-option of L1, though, was a surprise.

Analyzing patient samples of human colorectal cancer, the Ben-Ze'ev lab (in collaboration with Thomas Brabletz of the University of Erlangen in Germany) discovered L1 in large quantities exclusively in cancer cells at the aggressive and invasive front of tumors. In an additional surprise finding, the scientists found concentrations of nerve cell bundles, containing L1, located next to clusters of colon cancer cells that contain L1 on their surface. Localized on the cell membrane, L1 can serve both as a lock and a key in adhesion between cells: as a lock, it binds to L1 receptor molecules on the surface of like cells; as a key, it binds to different surface receptors of other cell types.

"That's what makes L1 so dangerous in tumors," says Ben-Ze'ev. "L1's special abilities in helping nerve cells wire up through intercellular space are hijacked by aggressive tumors to sharpen their invasive edge. The L1 protein makes them better at moving around and penetrating the body's connective tissues, as well as more resistant to adverse conditions during growth and metastasis. The discovery of L1's unwitting role in tumor cell motility and invasion may have important implications for diagnosing colon cancer and for designing new therapies," reports Ben-Ze'ev.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Cell Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Cell Biology. "Kidnapped: Colon Cancer Seizes Hapless Nerve Growth Protein." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060118101238.htm>.
American Society for Cell Biology. (2006, January 19). Kidnapped: Colon Cancer Seizes Hapless Nerve Growth Protein. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060118101238.htm
American Society for Cell Biology. "Kidnapped: Colon Cancer Seizes Hapless Nerve Growth Protein." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060118101238.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) 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