Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medical researchers discover new potential chemotherapy

Date:
December 13, 2012
Source:
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Summary:
Medical researchers have discovered that knocking out a particular "partner" gene is the Achilles' heel of some cancers.

Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered that knocking out a particular "partner" gene is the Achilles' heel of some cancers.

Cancer causing genes often have a partner in crime, meaning when either of the two genes is active in cancer cells, the tumour grows. The challenge for researchers has been pinpointing the genes' "lethal partners." Loss of one of the partners alone isn't deadly to the cell, but if both are gotten rid of, the cancer cells are destroyed.

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researcher Michael Weinfeld and his collaborators, Edan Foley and graduate student Todd Mereniuk, took cells and artificially removed a particular gene known as PKNP. Then the team knocked out 7,000 other genes, one at a time, all in an effort to find PKNP's "lethal partners" that trigger cell death.

And the team found it -- a deadly partner gene, a rare type of cancer suppressor typically missing in lymphomas.

The team confirmed their findings by examining tumours that lacked this specific cancer suppressor. They then inactivated PKNP, which caused the cancer cells to die. Their findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Research.

Developing cancer drugs that inactivate PKNP will result in only the cancer cells that lack this gene being eradicated, not healthy, normal cells, says Weinfield, who works in the Department of Oncology at the U of A.

"Lots of work in the cancer research field is to try and come up with ways to attack cancer cells and leave normal cells intact," he says. "You need to take advantage of whatever you can to defeat cancer, which can be extremely difficult."

Weinfeld and his colleagues are now working with Dennis Hall in the Department of Chemistry at the U of A and the Centre for Drug Research and Development in British Columbia to improve this potential drug they've discovered. They are also partnering with John Lewis, the Frank and Carla Sojonky Chair in Prostate Cancer Research in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, to work with his cancer-targeting nanotechnology theories.

The team's research was funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. R. Mereniuk, R. A. Maranchuk, A. Schindler, J. Penner-Chea, G. K. Freschauf, S. Hegazy, R. Lai, E. Foley, M. Weinfeld. Genetic Screening for Synthetic Lethal Partners of Polynucleotide Kinase/Phosphatase: Potential for Targeting SHP-1-Depleted Cancers. Cancer Research, 2012; 72 (22): 5934 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-0939

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. "Medical researchers discover new potential chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213132540.htm>.
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. (2012, December 13). Medical researchers discover new potential chemotherapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213132540.htm
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. "Medical researchers discover new potential chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213132540.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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