Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein may help diagnose and treat lymphoma in people and dogs

Date:
July 14, 2011
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
A protein that appears to play a key role in the formation of lymphoma and other tumors by inhibiting a tumor-suppressing gene has been identified by a team of veterinary and human medicine researchers. The newly identified protein may be a potential target for diagnosing and treating lymphoma in humans and animals.

Xinbin Chen, a veterinary oncologist with appointments in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the UC Davis School of Medicine, lead the study that identified the protein.
Credit: Don Preisler/UC Davis photo

A protein that appears to play a key role in the formation of lymphoma and other tumors by inhibiting a tumor-suppressing gene has been identified by a team of veterinary and human medicine researchers at the University of California, Davis.

The researchers suggest that the newly identified protein may be a potential target for diagnosing and treating lymphoma in humans and animals. They will report their findings July 15 in the journal Genes & Development.

"Results from this study suggest that a gene known as RNPC1 may play a key role in the development of lymphoma," said Xinbin Chen, a veterinary oncologist with appointments in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the UC Davis School of Medicine. Chen led the study.

About Lymphoma

Lymphoma refers to a group of blood cancers that start in the lymphatic system, a network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes that play a vital role in the body's immune system.

Lymphoma occurs when a type of white cell, known as a lymphocyte, undergoes a malignant change and begins to multiply out of control. As the lymphocytes multiply rapidly, they eventually crowd out normal, healthy cells. In time, the cancerous lymphocytes accumulate in the lymph nodes, liver, spleen and other locations in the body.

Lymphoma occurs spontaneously in dogs, representing 6 percent of all canine cancers. It is remarkably similar to lymphoma in humans.

Cancer and the P53 Gene

For three decades, researchers have known that a gene referred to as p53 plays an important role in suppressing cancer. This tumor suppressor gene checks cells' DNA for mutations that might cause cancer and then stops cell growth until the mutations can be repaired. If the mutations can't be repaired, P53 triggers cell death to prevent cancer from developing.

But if something goes awry, p53 itself can mutate and produce undesirable proteins. Earlier studies have shown that mutated proteins produced by p53 are present in 60 percent of all cancerous human tumors. More recent studies have also shown that p53 can be inactivated in human cancers by means other than mutation. In short, when p53 and the process it controls are damaged, cancer often occurs.

In recent years, scientists, including Chen and his colleagues at UC Davis, have found that p53 mutations also are active in the formation or cancerous tumors in other mammals, including dogs, cats and horses.

About the RNPC1 gene

Because defects in p53 are so common in human and animal cancers, researchers have been extremely interested in how the activity of the gene is regulated. This led the UC Davis team to examine the RNPC1 gene.

RNPC1 is known to be an RNA-binding protein, regulating how other genes produce proteins. The UC Davis researchers suspected that RNPC1 might play a role in causing lymphomas by inactivating the p53 gene.

Findings from the UC Davis study

In their new study, the researchers examined several types of human cancer cells as well as cells isolated from a mouse embryo, known as embryonic mouse fibroblasts.

The team showed that the RNPC1 gene inhibited the activity of the p53 gene and reduced levels of the p53 protein in these cells. Conversely, p53 protein levels increased when RNPC1 was out of the picture.

Because the RNPC1 gene is located at a chromosome that is frequently overexpressed in human cancers, including lymphomas, the researchers examined the expression of RNPC1 in spontaneously occurring dog lymphomas and in non-cancerous canine lymph node tissue. (The dog lymph node samples were provided with the permission of the owners; all of the dogs in the study were patients at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.)

Data from the dog lymphoma tests showed that the RNPC1 gene is frequently overactive in dog lymphomas and may, as suspected, play a role in the formation of lymphomas by inactivating the p53 gene.

Implications for human medicine

"Our findings are consistent with data from other cancer studies, which showed that RNPC1 is highly expressed in human cancers," Chen said. "This suggests that further studies are needed to analyze the expression of patterns of both RNPC1 and p53 in human tumor tissues."

He noted that because dogs and humans alike are vulnerable to lymphoma, and similar gene processes may be at work in each species, the dog may serve both as a valuable sentinel for environmental causes of the disease and as a model for exploring its causes and treatments.

UC Davis is at the forefront of efforts to coordinate animal and human cancer research to improve cancer treatment for people as well as pets. The UC Davis Cancer Center's Integrated Cancer Research Program, a collaboration of more than 200 investigators from more than a dozen scientific disciplines, includes 19 veterinary oncologists and basic scientists at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

The study was funded in part by the National Institutes for Health.

In addition to Chen, the UC Davis research team included Jin Zhang, project scientist; Seong-Jun Cho, post doctoral fellow; Limin Shu, post doctoral fellow; Wensheng Yan, project scientist; Teri Guerrero, clinical trials coordinator; Associate Professor Michael Kent; and Assistant Professor Katherine Skorupski; all of the Comparative Cancer Center, UC Davis Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine; and Professor Hongwu Chen of the UC Davis Cancer Center.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "Protein may help diagnose and treat lymphoma in people and dogs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714191429.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2011, July 14). Protein may help diagnose and treat lymphoma in people and dogs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714191429.htm
University of California - Davis. "Protein may help diagnose and treat lymphoma in people and dogs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714191429.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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