Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Targeting leukemia cell's gene 'addiction' presents new strategy for treatment

Date:
March 3, 2010
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
Scientists studying acute forms of leukemia have identified a new drug target to inhibit the genes which are vital for the growth of diseased cells. The research reveals how leukaemia cells become 'addicted' to genes, which if targeted could prevent diseased cells from developing.

An international team of scientists studying acute forms of leukemia have identified a new drug target to inhibit the genes which are vital for the growth of diseased cells. The research, reported in EMBO Molecular Medicine, reveals how leukemia cells become 'addicted' to genes, which if targeted could prevent diseased cells from developing.

Related Articles


The team, led by Dr Veronika Sexl from the University of Vienna, carried out their research on acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), which can both be caused by fusion protein, Bcr-Abl, created through the joining of two or more genes originally coded for separate proteins.

This joining of genes results in a complex tumor supporting 'network' which supports the growth and survival of the leukaemic cells. Inhibitor drugs such as 'Imatinib' can block vital signals and lead to leukemia cell death, but there are several mutations which can resist these inhibitors, making them ineffective.

As an alternative strategy the team investigated transcription factors Stat3 and Stat5 which are linked to bcr/abl-induced transformation. The team tested whether Stat3 and Stat5, acting downstream of Bcr-Abl are critical for leukemia maintenance and if they could be a alternative target for treatment.

"We developed a tumour-specific gene-deletion approach to analyse the roles of Stat5 and Stat3 in Bcr/Abl-induced leukemia growth," said Sexl. "We discovered that both factors are required for the development of Bcr-Abl, but once established only Stat5 is crucial for the survival and growth of leukemic Cells."

Even mutated forms of bcr-abl, leukemia cells, which are resistant to inhibiting drugs such as Imatinib, are still dependent on Stat5.

"Cancer cells undergo extensive adaptations in their signalling and metabolic pathways, thereby becoming dependent on certain genes," said Sexl. "In fact the activity of these genes can become limiting for a cancer cell."

The term 'Non-oncogene addication' (NOA) has been coined to describe this phenomenon of gene dependency and inhibiting these critical genes within the signalling network is predicted to cause system failure and halt the growth of leukemia cells.

"In this study we demonstrated that bcr-abl, leukemia cells are addicted to Stat5 to maintain the leukameic state, concluded Sexl. "We've identified Stat5 as an Achilles' heel in the signalling network downstream of Bcr-Abl. Thus, inhibition of Stat5 may provide a novel therapeutic approach for treatment of leukemia."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrea Hoelbl, Christian Schuster, Boris Kovacic, Bingmei Zhu, Mark Wickre, Maria A. Hoelzl, Sabine Fajmann, Florian Grebien, Wolfgang Warsch, Gabriele Stengl, Lothar Hennighausen, Valeria Poli, Hartmut Beug, Richard Moriggl, Veronika Sexl. Stat5 is indispensable for the maintenance of bcr/abl-positive leukaemia. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 2010; 2 (3): 98 DOI: 10.1002/emmm.201000062

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Targeting leukemia cell's gene 'addiction' presents new strategy for treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303082509.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2010, March 3). Targeting leukemia cell's gene 'addiction' presents new strategy for treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303082509.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Targeting leukemia cell's gene 'addiction' presents new strategy for treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303082509.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock 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