Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Trace A Novel Way Cells Are Disrupted In Cancer

Date:
October 8, 2008
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
A research team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is clarifying a previously unappreciated way that cellular processes are disrupted in cancer. Following upon previous work showing that a splicing factor called SF2/ASF can induce tumors in cell cultures, the team now shows that the same splicing factor induces changes in proteins in a pathway called PI3K-mTOR well known for its involvement in cancers.

A research team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is clarifying a previously unappreciated way that cellular processes are disrupted in cancer.

Last year, scientists from the same CHSL team discovered that a “splicing factor” called SF2/ASF--a protein that changes the instructions for how other proteins are assembled--can induce tumors in cell cultures. The team’s newly published results show that, in ways not yet fully understood, this same splicing factor acts on a group of other molecules that has long been known to affect cancer.

A Cascade of Molecular Interactions Leading to Cancer

Understanding such complex molecular interactions may one day lead to new approaches to cancer treatment. Cancers are enormously complex, and eventually, in most instances, they find ways of disrupting a large fraction of cellular processes. To untangle and reverse the changes, researchers seek to identify sequences of events in which molecules each affect one another in turn, ultimately inducing cancer-cell behavior.

For example, one protein may affect another by chemically disabling it, or by slowing the gene expression that produces it from the “instructions” contained in DNA. A drug that blocks any step in such a “pathway” has a chance to slow or prevent the disease.

Until recently, however, cancer researchers have paid scant attention to factors that affect others through “alternative splicing,” a mechanism that changes how DNA instructions are cut and pasted together at the level of RNA intermediaries to form final templates for the production of proteins.

“Splicing is a critical step in gene expression,” said Adrian R. Krainer, Ph.D., a CSHL professor who is an expert on RNA splicing. “Like other steps in gene expression, it seems to malfunction in cancer.” Last year, Krainer and his colleagues found that several known splicing factors are present at higher-than-normal levels in some tumors. For example, a factor known as SF2/ASF was elevated in more than 20% of lung and colon tumors. Moreover, laboratory cultures of mouse or rat cells developed characteristics of tumors when they were programmed to make higher-than-normal levels of this splicing factor.

Changes in the PI3K-mTOR Pathway

In the new research, Krainer’s team looked for specific molecules whose concentrations or enzymatic activities changed in cells in which SF2/ASF induced cancer. They found changes in the levels of some proteins in a group known as the PI3K-mTOR pathway, which is well known for its involvement in cancers.

The team speculated that SF2/ASF, as it influences how a gene’s instructions are translated into protein, might cause a protein to be assembled without a key section that is normally modified by other proteins in the pathway. Krainer cautioned that the splicing factor may act on other proteins or in other ways in the cell, so further research is needed. Nonetheless, the team’s research suggests that measuring SF2/ASF levels could eventually lead to a way to identify patients who will respond to existing drugs that block the PI3K-mTOR pathway.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rotem Karni, Yoshitaka Hippo, Scott W. Lowe, and Adrian R. Krainer. The splicing-factor oncoprotein SF2/ASF activates mTORC1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2008; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0801376105

Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Scientists Trace A Novel Way Cells Are Disrupted In Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006130540.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2008, October 8). Scientists Trace A Novel Way Cells Are Disrupted In Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006130540.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Scientists Trace A Novel Way Cells Are Disrupted In Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006130540.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So 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


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