Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stem cell study reveals complexity of glue molecule’s role in cancer

Date:
July 14, 2011
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
A protein molecule that 'glues' cells together and so has a key role in cancer is also responsible for many other important functions of cells, a new study has found.

A protein molecule that 'glues' cells together and so has a key role in cancer is also responsible for many other important functions of cells, a new study has found.

University of Manchester scientists say their unexpected findings are important because they could lead to a better understanding of why some cancer cells are difficult to eradicate in patients and lead to new cancer treatments.

The research -- published in the online journal PLoS ONE -- looked at the role of the cell-adhesion molecule E-cadherin in embryonic stem (ES) cells. As well as the expected findings associated with changes in adhesion, the team found that the protein may also regulate up to 25% of the genes within cells.

"E-cadherin is a 'glue' that keeps cells together in the body -- without it we would not develop beyond a bundle of cells a few days after conception," said Dr Chris Ward, who led the study in the University's School of Dentistry.

"E-cadherin is also important during cancer progression from benign to malignant states, with loss of this molecule leading to increased movement of the cells which can lead to secondary tumours within the body.

"Whilst E-cadherin has been studied intensively there has been no research that has identified all of the genes that E-cadherin regulates. Our lab has carried out profiling of ES cells lacking E-cadherin and found this protein is responsible for regulating up to 25% of the genes within cells.

"As well as the expected findings associated with changes in cell adhesion, we found that E-cadherin exerts an effect on a diverse range of biological functions within the cell. This unexpected result demonstrates that E-cadherin, often viewed as no more than a cell 'glue', is an important part of regulating the biology of ES cells."

The group found that E-cadherin regulates genes associated with, amongst other things, cell proliferation, cell death, metabolism of fats and sugars and the deciphering of messages received by cells from outside.

Since loss of E-cadherin is implicated in higher death rates in cancer patients and a more aggressive tumour type, the group has suggested that this molecule may have a much more important role to play in preventing tumour development.

Dr Ward added: "Essentially, abnormal regulation of E-cadherin can lead to a significant change in a cell and this may be one of the reasons why such cells are difficult to eradicate in cancer patients. Further investigation of specific changes in these cells may lead to the development of novel treatments for cancer."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Francesca Soncin, Lisa Mohamet, Sarah Ritson, Kate Hawkins, Nicoletta Bobola, Leo Zeef, Catherine L. R. Merry, Christopher M. Ward. E-Cadherin Acts as a Regulator of Transcripts Associated with a Wide Range of Cellular Processes in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (7): e21463 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021463

Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Stem cell study reveals complexity of glue molecule’s role in cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714190904.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2011, July 14). Stem cell study reveals complexity of glue molecule’s role in cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714190904.htm
University of Manchester. "Stem cell study reveals complexity of glue molecule’s role in cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714190904.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. 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:
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