Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Quality Control Check' Protein May Help Target Anti-Tumor Drugs

Date:
October 18, 2006
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that a protein that initiates a "quality control check" during cell division also directs cell death for those cells damaged during duplication. This knowledge represents a potential "bulls eye" for targeting anti-tumor drugs. The findings appear in the current issue of Science.

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that a protein that initiates a "quality control check" during cell division also directs cell death for those cells damaged during duplication. This knowledge represents a potential "bulls eye" for targeting anti-tumor drugs. The findings appear in the current issue of Science.

The researchers examined a protein called cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2), which works as a "quality control inspector." As normal cells divide, they pause in the replication process when they find inaccurate genetic code embedded in their DNA. The health and well-being of offspring cells depends on accurate genetic code transfer from one generation of cells to the next. The Mayo researchers showed that when errors in genes are irreparable, CDK2 modifies another cellular protein -- FOXO1 -- to send a signal that results in the death of the cell. This protein-to-protein relationship invites targeted drug intervention to control unregulated growth of cancer cells.

"Quality control within dividing cells is essential because mistakes during duplication of the genetic code can lead to cancer," says Donald Tindall, Ph.D., co-leader of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center prostate cancer research program. "CDK2 is a key protein component in the cellular mechanism that leads to repair of damaged DNA."

If cells pass this quality control checkpoint, they can resume the process of dividing into two daughter cells. If, however, major irreparable discrepancies occur in the genetic code, cells are shunted toward a molecular sequence that leads to death, or apoptosis. Cells have the genetic knowledge to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the organism rather than to pass on errant genetic codes that can lead to disease. Genetic errors that sneak past the cell's quality control check-points can make the cell prone to develop into cancer.

The Mayo researchers documented that CDK2 infuses high energy into another cellular protein, FOXO1, switching it on as the initial link in a signal that tells the cell to set itself up for apoptosis. CDK2 adds phosphorylation to a specific serine residue on the chain of amino acids that make up FOXO1. In case of robust errors found in the genetic code, CDK2 signals FOXO1 to explicitly call for the cell to produce a set of proteins leading to apoptosis.

"If the cell has minor alterations in the DNA code that can be repaired, those repairs are made," says first author Haojie Huang, Ph.D. "If the genetic message cannot be repaired, our studies show that CDK2 can initiate the steps necessary for cells to order the production of genes involved with cell death, and the errant cell dies without propagating its damaging genetic message to progeny cells of its own."

"As patients and their physicians seek to control or cure tumors, research is providing new approaches to limiting cancer from growing and spreading," Dr. Tindall said. "With this new understanding of the biology driven by critical dual functions of CDK2, the cancer community can focus on ways to regulate a mechanism that the cell contains to prevent damaged genetic messages from being inherited and spread in proliferating tumor cells."

Others on the team included Kevin Regan; Zhenkun Lou, Ph.D.; and Junjie Chen, Ph.D. The research was supported by the National Cancer Institute and the T.J. Martell Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "'Quality Control Check' Protein May Help Target Anti-Tumor Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061012184620.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2006, October 18). 'Quality Control Check' Protein May Help Target Anti-Tumor Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061012184620.htm
Mayo Clinic. "'Quality Control Check' Protein May Help Target Anti-Tumor Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061012184620.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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