Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New weapon in fight against cervical cancer

Date:
May 30, 2013
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
Scientists have found a way to target and destroy a key protein associated with the development of cervical and other cancers.

Scientists at the University of Leeds have found a way to target and destroy a key protein associated with the development of cervical and other cancers.

Related Articles


The E7 protein is produced early in the lifecycle of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and blocks the body's natural defences against the uncontrolled division of cells that can lead to cancer.

Researchers at the University of Leeds' School of Molecular and Cellular Biology have synthesised a molecule, called an RNA aptamer, that latches onto the carcinogenic protein and targets it for destruction, significantly reducing its presence in cells in the laboratory derived from cervical cancers.

There are many types of human papillomavirus. Some are transmitted by sexual contact and associated not only with cervical cancer but also head and neck cancer. Although an increasing proportion of young women in the United Kingdom are vaccinated against the virus, most women in their mid-20s or older are not vaccinated and many may already be HPV positive.

"We therefore need to maintain screening and to develop novel therapeutic strategies," lead researcher Dr Nicola Stonehouse said. "Currently, if you have advanced cervical cancer or head and neck cancer -- both of which are associated with human papillomavirus -- you really have little choice but surgery. If we can use this aptamer to target the carcinogenic protein, we might be talking about much less radical surgery in the future."

Aptamers are a relatively new tool for molecular biologists and a topic of intense research interest. Like the much better understood antibodies, aptamers can identify and target other molecules as well as viruses and bacteria. However, unlike traditional antibodies, they offer the possibility of insertion into live cells and can be artificially designed in the test tube.

The Leeds team, which received funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research and the BBSRC, was originally looking for an aptamer for use as a research tool.

"We were not trying to develop a therapy. We wanted to create better ways of looking at the virus infection because the current tools that we have are very limited," Dr Stonehouse said. "But what we found was that the aptamers caused the E7 protein to actually disappear. They seem to target it to be degraded. In a cell which is producing lots of E7 and is therefore dangerous, the level of E7 goes down if these RNA aptamers are there."

The new study is based on laboratory cell lines rather than real cancer cases, but the discovery of a molecule that targets one of the key proteins involved in HPV-related cancers raises the possibility of less invasive treatments.

The new aptamer might be used in the future to help stop residual cancerous material from re-establishing itself after surgery and therefore allow less aggressive approaches to surgery. The next challenge is to effectively target the new aptamer at real cancers.

The paper is published in the journal PLOS One.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Clare Nicol, Φzlem Cesur, Sophie Forrest, Tamara A. Belyaeva, David H. J. Bunka, G. Eric Blair, Nicola J. Stonehouse. An RNA Aptamer Provides a Novel Approach for the Induction of Apoptosis by Targeting the HPV16 E7 Oncoprotein. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (5): e64781 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064781

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "New weapon in fight against cervical cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530192431.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2013, May 30). New weapon in fight against cervical cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530192431.htm
University of Leeds. "New weapon in fight against cervical cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530192431.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

AP (Oct. 31, 2014) — Officials in the Washington area showed off Ebola response measures being taken at Dulles International Airport and the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) — Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 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