Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein–telomere Interactions Could Be Key In Treating Cancer

Date:
September 2, 2009
Source:
The Wistar Institute
Summary:
Researchers have shown that a large noncoding RNA in mammals and yeast plays a central role in helping maintain telomeres, the tips of chromosomes that contain important genetic information and help regulate cell division.

A team of researchers from The Wistar Institute have shown that a large non-coding RNA in mammals and yeast plays a central role in helping maintain telomeres, the tips of chromosomes that contain important genetic information and help regulate cell division. Since this RNA also facilitates the formation of DNA at telomeres—a process that can protect aging cells and destabilize tumor cells—manipulating its expression may be useful in treating cancer and other diseases.

The steady shortening of telomeres with each replication in somatic cells is linked to cellular aging, genetic instability, and tumor formation. This is because telomeres eventually "run out" after a certain number of cell divisions, resulting in the loss of vital genetic information from the cell's chromosome with future divisions. Scientists recently identified telomere-repeat-encoding RNA (TERRA) as an integral component of DNA within the telomeres of multiple species. The Wistar team demonstrated how TERRA mediates and partially stabilizes interactions between telomeric proteins that play essential roles in DNA replication.

"TERRA is a major component in helping protect the genome at a very sensitive place, the telomeres," said senior author Paul M. Lieberman, Ph.D., a professor in Wistar's Gene Expression and Regulation Program. "By managing TERRA levels we have the potential to regulate cellular aging and to impair the functioning of cancer cells."

TERRA associates with telomeric factors, but its precise function and mechanism of localization at telomeres had been largely unknown. In a study published on-line on August 27 in Molecular Cell, the Wistar scientists, led by Lieberman, describe how they discovered the telomere proteins that interact with TERRA and the processes by which they do so. In cell cultures, through RNA affinity purification, a process that isolates a single type of protein from a complex mixture, the team identified telomeric proteins (Shelterin components TRF1 and TRF2, and origin recognition complex subunits ORC1, ORC2, and ORC4) that bound to a TERRA oligonucleotide sequence but not to control oligonucleotides. Using RNA chromatin immunoprecipitation assays (ChIPs), in which specific pieces of RNA are isolated from bound proteins, the team discovered that TERRA is bound by telomeric proteins indicating that TERRA was a component of the Shelterin complex. The findings provide important clues that point to strategies for altering the expression of TERRA as a means to treat cancer and other diseases of aging, Lieberman says.

Study investigators also included Zhong Deng, Ph.D., staff scientist; Julie Norseen, predoctoral trainee; Andreas Wiedmer, research assistant; and Harold Riethman, Ph.D., associate professor.

This work was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, a Leukemia Lymphoma Society Special Fellow Award, and a University of Pennsylvania Training Grant in Tumor Virology.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

The Wistar Institute. "Protein–telomere Interactions Could Be Key In Treating Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831213216.htm>.
The Wistar Institute. (2009, September 2). Protein–telomere Interactions Could Be Key In Treating Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831213216.htm
The Wistar Institute. "Protein–telomere Interactions Could Be Key In Treating Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831213216.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. 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