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.

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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. 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:
from the past week

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