Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer: New insights into Taspase1 function

Date:
July 10, 2012
Source:
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz
Summary:
Scientists have identified a novel strategy to target the oncologically relevant protein-cleaving enzyme Taspase1. Taspase1 levels are not only elevated in cancer cells of patients with head and neck tumors and other solid malignancies but the enzyme is also critical for the development of leukemias. Central to this concept is the approach to inhibit the enzyme's activity by 'gluing together' individual Taspase1 molecules.

Scientists at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany identified a novel strategy to target the oncologically relevant protein-cleaving enzyme Taspase1. Taspase1 levels are not only elevated in cancer cells of patients with head and neck tumors and other solid malignancies but the enzyme is also critical for the development of leukemias. Central to this concept is the approach to inhibit the enzyme's activity by 'gluing together' individual Taspase1 molecules.

Related Articles


The results of a study undertaken by Professor Dr. Roland Stauber of the ENT Department at the Mainz University Medical Center were recently published in The FASEB Journal.

Protein-cleaving enzymes, so-called proteases, are not only significantly involved in physiological processes in the healthy body, such as blood clotting, but also play critical roles in illnesses, such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and infectious diseases. Several protease inhibitors have already been developed and are being used against some of these 'disease-causing' enzymes with varying success in the clinics. However, one representative of this protein family in particular -- the protease Taspase1 -- is troubling researchers worldwide." We currently do not have any drug that can inhibit Taspase1. And we still do not understand in sufficient detail how this enzyme really works," says Stauber.

Almost ten years ago, the team found enhanced levels of Taspase1 in the cancer cells of patients with head and neck tumors. At that time, the function of the protease in tumor cells and its relevance for disease was still unknown. Recent findings support the oncological importance of Taspase1 for solid malignancies and leukemias. Taspase1 appears to override control mechanisms in healthy cells by cleaving various other proteins, thereby significantly promoting cancer development. As a result of extensive research supported by funding provided by the Head and Neck Tumor Research Foundation [Stiftung Tumorforschung], the German Cancer Aid, the Thyssen Foundation, and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the researchers have now gained new insights into the enzyme's molecular functions. "Previously, it was assumed that two Taspase1 enzymes had to come together in order to be active and cleave other cellular proteins," explains Stauber. "Our latest results not only demonstrate that one Taspase1 molecule is sufficient for this, but also that we can even block the tumor-promoting properties of the enzyme by 'gluing' two Taspase1 molecules together."

Hence, the Mainz-based researchers identified a completely novel approach to developing drugs that may be used to inhibit Taspase1. "We are now searching for chemical substances that could function as molecular Taspase1 'adhesives'," adds Stauber. As part of the so-called Chemical BioMedicine Initiative, the scientists are betting on nature's vast chemical repertoire. "Natural products from fungi and marine sponges are a highly privileged source for potential new drugs. Evolution already pre-checked the biological qualities of such chemical substances in living organisms. Thus, we have a good chance of finding the right chemical decoys," predicts Stauber. "The robotic platform at the Mainz Screening Center combined with our Taspase1 assays will play a leading role in this search for the 'needle in the haystack'."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Bier, S. K. Knauer, D. Wunsch, L. Kunst, S. Scheiding, M. Kaiser, C. Ottmann, O. H. Kramer, R. H. Stauber. Allosteric inhibition of Taspase1's pathobiological activity by enforced dimerization in vivo. The FASEB Journal, 2012; DOI: 10.1096/fj.11-202432

Cite This Page:

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz. "Cancer: New insights into Taspase1 function." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120710120233.htm>.
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz. (2012, July 10). Cancer: New insights into Taspase1 function. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120710120233.htm
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz. "Cancer: New insights into Taspase1 function." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120710120233.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
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