Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists bring cancer cells back under control

Date:
January 18, 2011
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Scientists have brought cancer cells back under normal control -- by reactivating their cancer suppressor genes. The discovery could form a powerful new technology platform for the treatment of cancer of the breast and other cancers.

Tumor reduction.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Nottingham

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have brought cancer cells back under normal control -- by reactivating their cancer suppressor genes. The discovery could form a powerful new technology platform for the treatment of cancer of the breast and other cancers.

Related Articles


Breast cancer is diagnosed in about 1.4 million women throughout the world every year, with half a million dying from the disease. A common cause of cancer is when cells are altered or mutated and the body's tumour suppressor genes are switched off.

Research, published in the journal Molecular Cancer, reveals how Dr Cinzia Allegrucci from the School of Veterinary Science and Medicine and Dr Andrew Johnson in the Centre for Genetics and Genomics reactivated tumour suppressor genes and stopped the cancer from growing by treating them with Axolotl oocyte extract. After 60 days there was still no evidence of cancerous growth.

Cancers occur when the mechanisms that control normal cell division are mutated. The process of cell division is controlled by specific genes and these are turned "on" or "off" depending on their function. Among the most important of these genes are tumour suppressor genes. These genes repress the development of cancers and normally act as a control point in the cell division cycle. Therefore, the switching off of tumour suppressor genes is a common cause of cancers, including breast cancer.

Dr Allegrucci, a lecturer in molecular genetics and cell biology, said: "The on/off switch in genes is controlled by the modification of proteins that are bound to the DNA in a cell -- so called epigenetic modifications. Tumour suppressor genes in many breast cancers are switched off by epigenetic marks, which is the underlying cause of tumours. We sought to reverse this process, activating the tumour suppressor genes, in hope of stopping cancerous cell divisions."

Dr Johnson said: "To do this we used novel technology that makes use of the eggs of the axolotl salamander. Over the years Dr Johnson's lab has shown that humans evolved from animals that closely resemble axolotls, and because of this the proteins in axolotls are very similar to those in humans. Axolotl oocytes -- which are the eggs prior to ovulation -- are packed with molecules that have very powerful epigenetic modifying activity. Previously Johnson's lab showed that extracts prepared from these oocytes have powerful capacity to change epigenetic marks on the DNA of human cells.

And, in a breakthrough, they showed it is important to use oocytes from the ovary, because if the oocytes are ovulated these activities are lost. We thought that by treating cancer cells with extracts made from axolotl oocytes we could reverse the epigenetic marks on tumour suppressor genes, causing these genes to reactivate, and thereby stopping the cancerous cell growth."

The identification of the proteins responsible for this tumour reversing activity in axolotl oocytes is a major goal of future research which could form a powerful new technology platform for the treatment of cancers from the breast, and other tissues.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Cinzia Allegrucci, Michael D Rushton, James E Dixon, Virginie Sottile, Mansi Shah, Rajendra Kumari, Sue Watson, Ramiro Alberio and Andrew D Johnson. Epigenetic reprogramming of breast cancer cells with oocyte extracts. Molecular Cancer, 2011; 10: 7 DOI: 10.1186/1476-4598-10-7

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Scientists bring cancer cells back under control." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118122554.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2011, January 18). Scientists bring cancer cells back under control. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118122554.htm
University of Nottingham. "Scientists bring cancer cells back under control." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118122554.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) 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:

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