Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cell death mystery yields new suspect for cancer drug development

Date:
September 13, 2012
Source:
University of North Carolina Health Care
Summary:
A mysterious form of cell death, coded in proteins and enzymes, led to a discovery by researchers uncovering a prime suspect for new cancer drug development.

A mysterious form of cell death, coded in proteins and enzymes, led to a discovery by UNC researchers uncovering a prime suspect for new cancer drug development.

CIB1 is a protein discovered in the lab of Leslie Parise, PhD , professor and chair of the department of biochemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The small calcium binding protein is found in all kinds of cells.

Cassandra Moran, DO, was a pediatric oncology fellow at UNC prior to accepting a faculty position at Duke University. She is interested in neuroblastoma, a deadly form of childhood brain cancer. While working in the Parise lab at UNC as a resident, she found that decreasing CIB1 in neuroblastoma cells caused cell death.

Cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth, so the ability to cause cancer cell death in the lab is exciting to researchers -- but the UNC team couldn't figure out how it was happening.

Tina Leisner, PhD, a UNC research associate in biochemistry, picked up where Dr. Moran left off when she returned to her clinical training.

"It was a mystery how loss of CIB1 was causing cell death. We knew that it wasn't the most common mechanism for programmed cell death, called apoptosis, which occurs when enzymes called caspases become activated, leading to the destruction of cellular DNA. These cells were not activating caspases, yet they were dying. It was fascinating, but frustrating at the same time," said Leisner.

What Dr. Leisner and her colleagues found, in the end, is that CIB1 is a master regulator of two pathways that cancer cells use to avoid normal mechanisms for programmed cell death. These two pathways, researchers believe, create "alternate routes" for cell survival and proliferation that may help cancer cells outsmart drug therapy. When one pathway is blocked, the other still sends signals downstream to cause cancer cell survival.

"What we eventually discovered is that CIB1 sits on top of two cell survival pathways, called PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK. When we knock out CIB1, both pathways grind to a halt. Cells lose AKT signaling, causing another enzyme called GAPDH to accumulate in the cell's nucleus.Cells also lose ERK signaling, which together with GAPDH accumulation in the nucleus cause neuroblastoma cell death. In the language of people who aren't biochemists, knocking out CIB1 cuts off the escape routes for the cell signals that cause uncontrolled growth, making CIB1 a very promising drug target," said Dr. Parise.

This multi-pathway action is key to developing more effective drugs. Despite the approval of several targeted therapies in recent years, many cancers eventually become resistant to therapy.

"What is even more exciting," Leisner adds, "is that it works in completely different types of cancer cells. We successfully replicated the neuroblastoma findings in triple-negative breast cancer cells, meaning that new drugs targeted to CIB1 might work very broadly."

The team's findings were published in the journal Oncogene. In addition to Drs. Leisner, Moran and Parise, Stephen P. Holly, PhD, contributed to the research.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under awards number HL07149T32 and 5R01HL092544.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. T M Leisner, C Moran, S P Holly, L V Parise. CIB1 prevents nuclear GAPDH accumulation and non-apoptotic tumor cell death via AKT and ERK signaling. Oncogene, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/onc.2012.408

Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina Health Care. "Cell death mystery yields new suspect for cancer drug development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913105008.htm>.
University of North Carolina Health Care. (2012, September 13). Cell death mystery yields new suspect for cancer drug development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913105008.htm
University of North Carolina Health Care. "Cell death mystery yields new suspect for cancer drug development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913105008.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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:
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