Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Key leukemia defense mechanism discovered

Date:
September 30, 2010
Source:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Summary:
Researchers have uncovered the mechanism by which leukemia cells trigger a protective response when exposed to a class of cancer-killing agents known as histone deacetylase inhibitors.

Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researcher Steven Grant, M.D., and a team of VCU Massey researchers have uncovered the mechanism by which leukemia cells trigger a protective response when exposed to a class of cancer-killing agents known as histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs).

The findings, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, could lead to more effective treatments in patients with leukemia and other cancers of the blood.

"Our findings provide new insights into the ways such cancer cells develop resistance to and survive treatment," says Grant, associate director for translational research and professor of medicine. "This knowledge will now allow us to focus our efforts on strategies designed to prevent these self-protective responses, potentially rendering the cancer cell incapable of defense and increasing the effectiveness of therapy."

The discovery centers on modification of a protein known as NEMO. Researchers have known for some time that HDACIs trigger a protective response in leukemia cells by activating a survival signaling pathway known as NF-κB, which limits the ability of HDACIs to initiate a cancer cell suicide program known as apoptosis. However, it was previously thought this process occurred through activation of receptors residing on the cancer cell surface. What VCU Massey researchers discovered was that HDACIs initially induce DNA damage within the cell nucleus, leading to modification of the NEMO protein, which then triggers the cytoprotective NF-κB pathway. By disrupting modifications of the NEMO protein, NF-κB activation can be prevented, and as a consequence, the cancer-killing capacity of HDACIs increases dramatically.

HDACIs represent an approved form of treatment for certain forms of lymphoma, and VCU Massey Cancer Center has been working for over seven years to develop strategies designed to improve their effectiveness in leukemia and other blood cancers. Grant's team is now focusing on ways to capitalize on this discovery by designing strategies that interrupt NEMO modifications through the use of pharmacologic agents and other means.

"Our goal is to move these findings from the laboratory to the bedside as quickly as we possibly can. There are currently several drugs in early stages of development that hold promise in disrupting the NEMO-related NF-κB pathway, but further research defining their safety and effectiveness will be required before we can incorporate them into new therapies," says Grant.

Grant's research team included Roberto Rosato, Ph.D., of the Department of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University; Paul Dent, Ph.D., Universal Professor for Signal Transduction at VCU Massey Cancer Center and vice chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Virginia Commonwealth University; and Paul Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., Thelma Newmeyer Corman Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at VCU Massey Cancer Center, department head of Human and Molecular Genetics and director of the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Virginia Commonwealth University. "Key leukemia defense mechanism discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930143351.htm>.
Virginia Commonwealth University. (2010, September 30). Key leukemia defense mechanism discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930143351.htm
Virginia Commonwealth University. "Key leukemia defense mechanism discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930143351.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) In a clinical trial, breast cancer patients lived an average of 15 months longer when they received new drug Perjeta along with Herceptin. 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:

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