Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

AIDS: Clues To Virus-cancer Link Uncovered

Date:
June 18, 2009
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
Scientists have uncovered clues to the development of cancers in AIDS patients.

In a series of recently-published articles, a research team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center has uncovered clues to the development of cancers in AIDS patients.

In an April article published in the journal PLoS Pathogens, Dirk Dittmer, Ph.D. associate professor of microbiology and immunology at UNC’s School of Medicine, demonstrated that the Kaposi sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is not only present in every tumor cell, but that the cells also transcribe microRNAs (miRNA) from the virus. This represents a collaborative effort between UNC researchers and clinicians at Beth Israel Hospital, the University of Miami and the Federal University in Bahia, Brazil.

MicroRNAs are small molecules that regulate gene expression. Scientists have hypothesized that viruses can cause cancer through a mechanism where the viral genes take over the cell and induce cancerous growth through alteration of cell miRNA, since certain kinds of miRNA are responsible for putting the ‘brakes’ on uncontrolled cell growth.

Dittmer’s team examined samples of tissue provided with the consent of Kaposi’s sarcoma patients and found that specific miRNA biomarkers accurately identify stages of tumor progression. They found that certain miRNAs were lost as the tumors progressed, effectively accelerating the cancer’s growth. More aggressive tumor stages expressed higher levels of KSHV miRNA.

In second study, published June 4 in the journal Blood, the team looked for the presence of tumor suppressor mRNAs in primary effusion lymphoma and Kaposi’s Sarcoma.

“We chose these two cancers because, while they are both associated with the same virus, they occur in very different types of cells,” Dittmer noted.

His team found that several miRNAs known to suppress tumor activity were significantly less active in both types of cancer.

“Micro RNAs are an exciting new class of cancer markers. Knowing which ones are present in a particular tumor will help us understand the biology and develop those micro RNAs as novel cancer therapy targets.:”

Scientists believe that finding the mechanisms through which viruses take over cellular systems, resulting in cancer, is a promising strategy for cancer prevention and treatment, since it is much more feasible to block viral infection or develop specific inhibitors of the viral genes than try to inhibit all of the genetic changes within a cancer.

This work was supported by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation, the University Cancer Research Fund, the AIDS Malignancies Clinical Trials Consortium and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "AIDS: Clues To Virus-cancer Link Uncovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090617131402.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2009, June 18). AIDS: Clues To Virus-cancer Link Uncovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090617131402.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "AIDS: Clues To Virus-cancer Link Uncovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090617131402.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. 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