Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Kill the messenger: Small molecule prevents cancer-causing message from entering cell nucleus

Date:
June 12, 2012
Source:
Weizmann Institute of Science
Summary:
A small molecule prevents a cancer-causing message from entering the cell nucleus.

What's good news in one setting might spell disaster in another. In cancer for instance, when a certain cell is commanded to grow and divide without restraint, it's a welcome message for the cell itself but a tragedy for the person who harbors this cell in his or her body. Weizmann Institute scientists have managed to decipher and block one type of molecular message that prompts unbridled cellular growth.

The molecular message first arrives at the cell's membrane, but its ultimate destination is the cell's nucleus, which contains the DNA. It's a huge distance for the message to cross, equivalent to 50 kilometers for a human being. To reach the nucleus quickly, the message is relayed by a chain of chemical messengers, from one molecule to another. More than two decades ago, Prof. Rony Seger of the Weizmann Institute's Biological Regulation Department took part in the discovery of one such chain -- one that participates in the induction of numerous types of cancer. Among other molecules, this chain includes the enzymes MEK1, MEK2, ERK1 and ERK2.

At first, Seger studied the transmission of molecular messages by these enzymes in the cell's cytoplasm. Four years ago, he and his team succeeded in revealing the details of the later, most crucial step: the entry of the message into the cell's nucleus. The scientists identified a segment called NTS in the enzymes. NTS undergoes a change, through the addition of phosphorus molecules, which makes the enzymes' entry into the nucleus possible. When they created a small peptide mimicking NTS, the message was blocked, failing to reach the nucleus. As a result, the cell stopped growing: Apparently, the peptide had intercepted the "enter the nucleus!" command. In experiments with mice, the peptide effectively blocked the development of several types of cancer, particularly melanoma: Not only did the tumors stop growing, they disappeared entirely.

Seger's findings are currently being considered for future biotechnological applications.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Weizmann Institute of Science. "Kill the messenger: Small molecule prevents cancer-causing message from entering cell nucleus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612101340.htm>.
Weizmann Institute of Science. (2012, June 12). Kill the messenger: Small molecule prevents cancer-causing message from entering cell nucleus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612101340.htm
Weizmann Institute of Science. "Kill the messenger: Small molecule prevents cancer-causing message from entering cell nucleus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612101340.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) 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