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Expression of Myoglobin in Human Cancers

Date:
July 9, 2009
Source:
American Journal of Pathology
Summary:
Scientists report that myoglobin may protect against the stresses of tumor growth. Myoglobin plays an important role in muscle cells by both transporting oxygen and preventing cell damage by scavenging free radicals. Tumor cells often survive in hypoxic (low oxygen), high free radical environments, despite these stresses on tumor growth.

A group led by Dr. Alberto Bardelli at The University of Turin Medical School reports that myoglobin may protect against the stresses of tumor growth.

Myoglobin plays an important role in muscle cells by both transporting oxygen and preventing cell damage by scavenging free radicals. Tumor cells often survive in hypoxic (low oxygen), high free radical environments, despite these stresses on tumor growth.

Flonta et al hypothesized that certain cancers may express myoglobin to survive the conditions associated with tumor growth. Indeed, human epithelial tumors, including breast, lung, ovary, and colon carcinomas, expressed high levels of myoglobin at early stages of development. In addition, myoglobin was induced in cell lines subjected to hypoxia, oxidative stress, and mitogenic stimulation. Myoglobin expression in carcinomas may therefore protect against the stresses of tumor growth.

Dr. Bardelli and colleagues postulate that "should myoglobin prove to play a causative role in tumor progression, … it is tempting to speculate that targeting one or more of its multiple functions by pharmacological agents or more advanced molecular tools could represent a novel therapeutic strategy in oncology."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Journal of Pathology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Flonta SE, Arena S, Pisacane A, Michieli P, Bardelli A. Expression and Functional Regulation of Myoglobin in Epithelial Cancers. Am J Pathol, 2009, 174: 2611-2616

Cite This Page:

American Journal of Pathology. "Expression of Myoglobin in Human Cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093306.htm>.
American Journal of Pathology. (2009, July 9). Expression of Myoglobin in Human Cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093306.htm
American Journal of Pathology. "Expression of Myoglobin in Human Cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093306.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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