Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood Cancer Stopped In Mice By Shortening The Ends Of Chromosomes

Date:
April 26, 2007
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Medical researchers have stopped a form of blood cancer in its tracks in mice by engineering and inactivating an enzyme, telomerase, thereby shortening the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres.

A Johns Hopkins team has stopped a form of blood cancer in its tracks in mice by engineering and inactivating an enzyme, telomerase, thereby shortening the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres.

Related Articles


"Normally, when telomeres get critically short, the cell commits suicide as a means of protecting the body," says Carol Greider, Ph.D., the Daniel Nathans chair of molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins. Her study, appearing online at Cancer Cell, uncovers an alternate response where cells simply - and permanently - stop growing, a process known as senescence.

In an unusual set of experiments, the research team first mated mice with nonoperating telomerase to mice carrying a mutation that predisposed them to Burkitt's lymphoma, a rare but aggressive cancer of white blood cells. Telomerase helps maintain the caps or ends of chromosomes called telomeres, which shrink each time a cell divides and eventually - when the chromosomes get too short - force the cell to essentially commit suicide. Such cell death is natural, and when it fails to happen, the result may be unbridled cell growth, or cancer.

The first generation pups born to these mice contained no telomerase and very long telomeres. These mice all developed lymphomas by the time they were 7 months old. The researchers then continued breeding the mice to see what would happen in later generations. By the fifth generation, the researchers discovered that the mice had short telomeres and stopped developing lymphomas.

When the researchers blocked the suicide machinery in these fifth-generation mice, they were very surprised to find that the mice still remained cancer free.

"We were confused as to what was going on; we thought for sure that blocking the cells' ability to commit suicide would lead to the cancer's returning," says Greider. A closer look showed microtumors in the mice's lymph nodes that had begun the road to cancer, but stopped, falling instead into a state of senescence.

"They don't die, they don't divide, they just sit there in permanent rest," says Greider. Greider, who won the Lasker Award in 2006 for her discovery of telomerase, says further study of the road to senescence should suggest new ways of preventing or treating cancer by interfering safely with telomerase and the cell-suicide system.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Authors on the paper are David Feldser and Carol Greider, both of Johns Hopkins.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Blood Cancer Stopped In Mice By Shortening The Ends Of Chromosomes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070425142107.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2007, April 26). Blood Cancer Stopped In Mice By Shortening The Ends Of Chromosomes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070425142107.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Blood Cancer Stopped In Mice By Shortening The Ends Of Chromosomes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070425142107.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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