Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Not The Protein, But Its Location In The Cell, Determines The Onset Of Leukemia

Date:
July 13, 2008
Source:
Flanders Institute for Biotechnology
Summary:
Scientists are still searching for the cause of many forms of Leukemia, including T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Researchers have now discovered that the carcinogenic property of the fusion protein NUP214-ABL1 largely depends on its location in the cell. Casting new light on the biological processes behind T-ALL, this finding is important in the search for new targeted therapies that are less toxic than chemotherapy.

Scientists are still searching for the cause of many forms of Leukemia, including T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. VIB researchers connected to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have discovered that the carcinogenic property of the fusion protein NUP214-ABL1 largely depends on its location in the cell. Casting new light on the biological processes behind T-ALL, this finding is important in the search for new targeted therapies that are less toxic than chemotherapy.

Related Articles


The white blood cells in our body combat foreign intruders, such as viruses and bacteria. However, in leukemia, the formation of white blood cells is disturbed: the cells that should develop into white blood cells multiply out of control without fully maturing. This process disrupts the production of normal blood cells, making patients more susceptible to infections. T-ALL, a particular form of leukemia, is the most prevalent cancer in children under 14 years of age and occurs predominantly between the ages of two and three.

At the moment, with an optimal treatment using chemotherapy, over half of children are cured. But scientists hope to be able to develop targeted therapies that are less toxic than chemotherapy, based on knowledge of the biological processes behind T-ALL.

Importance of the location

Oncogenes are often at the root of cancer. So, scientists around the world are concentrating on identifying oncogenes and their related proteins. Recent research by Kim De Keersmaecker and colleagues in Jan Cools' research group (VIB-K.U.Leuven) indicates that the location in the cell where these proteins are found plays an important role in the entire carcinogenic mechanism.

In collaboration with Maarten Fornerod (Nederlands Kanker Instituut, Amsterdam) and Gary Gilliland (Harvard Medical School, Boston), the VIB researchers have demonstrated that NUP214-ABL1, a fusion of two proteins, is carcinogenic only when it is in a protein complex near the nucleus of the cell. Located at another place in the cell, NUP214-ABL1 does not lead to cancer. This finding sheds new light on the study of carcinogenic processes.

A new therapeutic approach?

Many forms of cancer are caused by genetic defects in which a certain kinase becomes too active -- and this is the case with NUP214-ABL1. The most obvious solution is to make the carcinogenic kinase inactive, and so kinase inhibitors are usually used to combat these kinds of cancers. However, the carcinogenic kinase often becomes resistant to these inhibitors -- which is certainly true for T-ALL. So, scientists are actively seeking alternative approaches.

De Keersmaecker's recent research results now offer a possibility. Indeed, the scientists have shown in cells that NUP214-ABL1 is no longer carcinogenic when it cannot bind with the protein complex in the vicinity of the cell nucleus. On the basis of these results, the researchers want to further investigate the therapeutic possibilities of compounds that render binding between the complex and NUP214-ABL1 impossible. This study also indicates that the location of proteins can play an important role in other forms of cancer/leukemia as well.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Flanders Institute for Biotechnology. "Not The Protein, But Its Location In The Cell, Determines The Onset Of Leukemia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710120454.htm>.
Flanders Institute for Biotechnology. (2008, July 13). Not The Protein, But Its Location In The Cell, Determines The Onset Of Leukemia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710120454.htm
Flanders Institute for Biotechnology. "Not The Protein, But Its Location In The Cell, Determines The Onset Of Leukemia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710120454.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) 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