Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parallels between cancers, infection suppression: Same proteins involved, but cancer takes hold when response gets out of control

Date:
January 4, 2011
Source:
City College of New York
Summary:
Tiny parasitoid wasps can play an important role in controlling the populations of other insect species by laying their eggs inside the larvae of these species. A newly hatched wasp gradually eats the host alive and takes over its body. The host insect is far from defenseless, however. In fruit flies, larvae activate humoral immunity in the fat body and mount a robust cellular response that encapsulates and chokes off the wasp egg. New research reveals parallels between how this mechanism fights the wasp infection and the way blood cancer develops.

The immune system response in Drosophila to a wasp infection (above) is highly restrained, resulting in a thin layer of blood cells encapsulating the egg. However, blood cancer occurs (below) when there is an out-of-control response to a chronic inflammation, with a much thicker layer of red blood cells.
Credit: Image courtesy of City College of New York

Tiny parasitoid wasps can play an important role in controlling the populations of other insect species by laying their eggs inside the larvae of these species. A newly hatched wasp gradually eats the host alive and takes over its body.

Related Articles


The host insect is far from defenseless, however. In Drosophila (fruit flies), larvae activate humoral immunity in the fat body and mount a robust cellular response that encapsulates and chokes off the wasp egg.

New research by Dr. Shubha Govind, professor of biology at The City College of New York, and colleagues reveals parallels between how this mechanism fights the wasp infection and the way blood cancer develops. "There are fundamental similarities in the processes," she explains. "The response to wasp infection is similar to acute inflammation while the cancer is akin to chronic inflammation in mammals, where regulation of the response to an infection also goes out of control."

Professor Govind reports that the immune system that counters wasp egg infection is highly restrained. The system works like a thermostat, with certain proteins detecting the infection and triggering the immune reactions. Once the egg has been destroyed the immune reactions come to a halt.

However, when the regulating mechanism goes haywire, cancer can develop. Through sumoylation, the correct balance between positive and negative factors is achieved, Professor Govind and colleagues report.

"There is strong evidence that the fundamental mechanism of regulation uncovered in flies also works in humans," she notes. "Because of the molecular similarities between flies and mammals, it may be possible to use flies to test drugs for potential anti-inflammatory effects in human disease." While such drugs would not cure cancer, they could control inflammation and, perhaps, delay cancer progression.

Other potential applications are in pest control for agriculture. Instead of using insecticides, parasitoids with the ability to suppress the hosts' immune systems could be used to kill insect pests. Also, insecticides could be developed that, at very low concentrations, would weaken the immune systems of host insects and enable parasitoid eggs to succeed, Professor Govind adds.

The findings were published last month in PLoS Pathogens, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal published by the Public Library of Science. Contributing scientists were: Indira Paddibhatla, Mark J. Lee, Marta E. Kalamarz and Roberto Ferrarese. The work was funded by the National Institutes of General Medicine, U.S. Department of Agriculture and PSC-CUNY.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by City College of New York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Indira Paddibhatla, Mark J. Lee, Marta E. Kalamarz, Roberto Ferrarese, Shubha Govind. Role for Sumoylation in Systemic Inflammation and Immune Homeostasis in Drosophila Larvae. PLoS Pathogens, 2010; 6 (12): e1001234 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001234

Cite This Page:

City College of New York. "Parallels between cancers, infection suppression: Same proteins involved, but cancer takes hold when response gets out of control." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110103134104.htm>.
City College of New York. (2011, January 4). Parallels between cancers, infection suppression: Same proteins involved, but cancer takes hold when response gets out of control. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110103134104.htm
City College of New York. "Parallels between cancers, infection suppression: Same proteins involved, but cancer takes hold when response gets out of control." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110103134104.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. 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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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