Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Too much SP2 protein turns stem cells into 'evil twin' cancer cells

Date:
October 27, 2010
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have found that the overproduction of a key protein in stem cells causes those stem cells to form cancerous tumors. Their work may lead to new treatments for a variety of cancers.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that the overproduction of a key protein in stem cells causes those stem cells to form cancerous tumors. Their work may lead to new treatments for a variety of cancers.

Dr. Jon Horowitz, associate professor of molecular biomedical sciences, and a team of NC State researchers looked at the protein SP2, which regulates the activity of other genes. They knew that elevated amounts of SP2 had been observed in human prostate-cancer patients, and that these levels only increased as the tumors became more dangerous. They then showed that precisely the same thing occurs in mouse skin tumors.

Horowitz and the team decided to look at SP2 as a possible cause of tumor formation in epithelial cell-derived tumors, which comprise about 80 percent of all human tumors; epithelial cells cover the body's internal and external surfaces. They found that overproduction of the SP2 protein in epithelial stem cells stopped them from spawning mature descendants. The affected stem cells, unable to produce mature cells, just kept proliferating, resulting in the formation of tumors.

The researchers' results are published in the Nov. 3 edition of the journal Cancer Research.

"Something happens to normal stem cells that changes the way SP2 is regulated, and it starts being overproduced," Horowitz says. "SP2 basically hijacks the stem cell, and turns it into its evil twin -- a cancer cell."

Now that the link between tumor formation and SP2 has been shown, Horowitz says, scientists can turn their attention to looking at ways to target the overproduction of this protein. "Our hope is that we can find an 'antidote' to SP2, to restore normal cell proliferation to those cancer stem cells and reverse the process."

The research was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences is part of NC State's College of Veterinary Medicine.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. T.-H. Kim, S. L. Chiera, K. E. Linder, C. S. Trempus, R. C. Smart, J. M. Horowitz. Overexpression of Transcription Factor Sp2 Inhibits Epidermal Differentiation and Increases Susceptibility to Wound- and Carcinogen-Induced Tumorigenesis. Cancer Research, 2010; DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-1213

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Too much SP2 protein turns stem cells into 'evil twin' cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101027151209.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2010, October 27). Too much SP2 protein turns stem cells into 'evil twin' cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101027151209.htm
North Carolina State University. "Too much SP2 protein turns stem cells into 'evil twin' cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101027151209.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So 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