Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Slamming Brakes On Deadly Ovarian Cancer Cells: Blocking Proteins Coded By Notorious Cancer-causing Gene

Date:
December 24, 2008
Source:
American Society for Cell Biology
Summary:
Ovarian cancer cells are "addicted" to a family of proteins produced by the notorious oncogene, MYC, and blocking these Myc proteins halts cell proliferation in the deadliest cancer of the female reproductive system.

Ovarian cancer cells are "addicted" to a family of proteins produced by the notorious oncogene, MYC.

Blocking these Myc proteins halts cell proliferation in the deadliest cancer of the female reproductive system, according to a presentation by University of California, Berkeley scientists at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) 48th Annual Meeting, Dec. 13-17, 2008 in San Francisco.

In 30-60 percent of human ovarian tumors, MYC is overly active, or amplified, usually as a result of extra chromosomal copies of the cancer-causing gene.

The extra MYC encourages the ovarian cells to manufacture too much c-Myc, a protein that regulates other genes involved in cellular growth and proliferation. The presence of excessive c-Myc protein drives healthy cells down the cancer development pathway.

Using RNA interference (RNAi) to block c-Myc protein, Berkeley scientists, Tulsiram Prathapam and G. Steven Martin, treated lab cultures of human ovarian cancer cells that contained amplified MYC. RNAi's blocking of the c-Myc protein stopped the cancer cell cycle in its tracks.

But RNAi blocking of c-Myc protein in lab cultures in which the MYC gene was not experimentally amplified did not affect ovarian cancer cell growth.

The scientists suspect that even when c-Myc was blocked in non-amplified cells, other forms of the protein ⎯ L-Myc and N-Myc ⎯ likely were present and continued to maintain cell proliferation.

By using small interfering RNA (siRNA) to silence L-Myc and N-Myc, the researchers succeeded in shutting down the growth of the non-amplified MYC tumors.

These therapies also were applied to lab cultures of normal ovarian surface epithelial cells. Blocking all the Myc proteins in the normal cultures did not affect cell proliferation, perhaps because the RNAi and siRNA "therapies" are effective only when the MYC genes are abnormally active.

The scientists hope that their results may lead to a new approach to treating ovarian cancer, the most lethal cancer of the female reproductive system.

The American Cancer Society predicts that in 2008, 21,650 new cases of ovarian cancer and 15,520 deaths from this form of cancer will occur.

In comparison, cervical cancer will affect almost twice as many new cases ⎯ 40,000 ⎯ but fewer than half as many deaths ⎯ 7,470. According to the trends in mortality charted by the National Cancer Institute, cervical cancer deaths fell 3.4 percent while ovarian cancer deaths declined by only 0.2 percent from 1996 to 2005.

The lead author will present, "Molecular Mechanism of MYC Oncogene Addiction in Ovarian Cancer," Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1:30 pm, Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressors, Program #2735, Board #B446, Halls A-C, Moscone Center.

Authors: T. Prathapam, A. Aleshin, G. Martin, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Y. Guan, J.W. Gray, Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco , CA; Y. Guan, J.W. Gray, Life Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA


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. "Slamming Brakes On Deadly Ovarian Cancer Cells: Blocking Proteins Coded By Notorious Cancer-causing Gene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215140934.htm>.
American Society for Cell Biology. (2008, December 24). Slamming Brakes On Deadly Ovarian Cancer Cells: Blocking Proteins Coded By Notorious Cancer-causing Gene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215140934.htm
American Society for Cell Biology. "Slamming Brakes On Deadly Ovarian Cancer Cells: Blocking Proteins Coded By Notorious Cancer-causing Gene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215140934.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. 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