Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Factor boosting leukemia's aggressiveness identified

Date:
October 23, 2010
Source:
University of California -- San Diego
Summary:
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells survive and thrive not just by their own innate wiles, but by also acquiring aid and support from host cells in their surrounding environment. In a new study, researchers identify a particular relationship that can promote notably aggressive leukemias and lymphomas.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells survive and thrive not just by their own innate wiles, but by also acquiring aid and support from host cells in their surrounding environment. In a paper published online in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, an international team of researchers led by cancer specialists at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Moores UCSD Cancer Center identify a particular relationship that can promote notably aggressive leukemias and lymphomas.

"The microenvironment is the term used to describe the cells that cluster around CLL cells in the lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow. These cells secrete factors that can protect CLL cells from dying," said Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, Professor of Medicine, Deputy Director of Research Operations at the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center and senior co-author of the paper with Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology in UCSD's Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction.

Kipps, Karin and colleagues from Iowa, The Netherlands and Taiwan looked specifically at a protein called B-cell activating factor or BAFF, which is produced in high levels by "nurselike cells" in the CLL microenvironment. Nurselike cells are a subset of blood cells in CLL patients that help cancer cells avoid apoptosis or natural cell death. Kipps and colleagues first described this relationship in 2000.

The researchers found that BAFF interacts with a gene linked to leukemogenesis -- the development of leukemia -- called c-MYC. Normal MYC genes help regulate cell proliferation, but when upregulated or increased by mutations, c-MYC can promote more aggressive leukemias and lymphomas. To what degree this relationship influences CLL -- the most common form of adult leukemia -- remains unknown, though Kipps said the findings suggest therapeutic promise.

"We found that BAFF can upregulate expression of c-MYC in CLL cells and that patients who have CLL cells with high levels of c-MYC have aggressive disease," said Kipps. "These findings may lead to improvements in our ability to treat patients with CLL, either by blocking the effect of BAFF on CLL cells or inhibiting the signaling pathways triggered by BAFF that can lead to upregulation of MYC."

Co-authors of the paper include Weizhou Zhang of the Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, Department of Pharmacology, UC San Diego School of Medicine and of the departments of Medicine and Radiology at Moores UCSD Cancer Center; Arnon P. Kater of the Department of Hematology, Academic Medical Center, The Netherlands; George F. Widhopf II, Han-Yu Chuang and Danelle F. James of UCSD's Department of Medicine; Thomas Enzler of Department of Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine; Maxim Poustovoitov of the Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, Department of Pharmacology and UCSD School of Medicine; Ping-Hui Tseng of the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan' Siegfried Janz of the Department of Pathology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine; Carl Hoh of UCSD's Department of Radiology and Harvey Herschman of the departments of Biological Chemistry and Pharmacology, UC Los Angeles.

Funding for this project was provided by the National Institutes of Health and a grant from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Specialized Center of Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California -- San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. W. Zhang, A. P. Kater, G. F. Widhopf II, H.-Y. Chuang, T. Enzler, D. F. James, M. Poustovoitov, P.-H. Tseng, S. Janz, C. Hoh, H. Herschman, M. Karin, T. J. Kipps. B-cell activating factor and v-Myc myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog (c-Myc) influence progression of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1013420107

Cite This Page:

University of California -- San Diego. "Factor boosting leukemia's aggressiveness identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101022160306.htm>.
University of California -- San Diego. (2010, October 23). Factor boosting leukemia's aggressiveness identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101022160306.htm
University of California -- San Diego. "Factor boosting leukemia's aggressiveness identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101022160306.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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