Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanog protein promotes growth of head and neck cancer

Date:
June 18, 2013
Source:
Ohio State University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have identified a biochemical pathway in cancer stem cells that is essential for promoting head and neck cancer. The study shows that a protein called Nanog, which is normally active in embryonic stem cells, promotes the growth of cancer stem cells in head and neck cancer. The findings provide information essential for designing novel targeted drugs that might improve the treatment of head and neck cancer.

A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) has identified a biochemical pathway in cancer stem cells that is essential for promoting head and neck cancer.

The study shows that a protein called Nanog, which is normally active in embryonic stem cells, promotes the growth of cancer stem cells in head and neck cancer. The findings provide information essential for designing novel targeted drugs that might improve the treatment of head and neck cancer.

Normally, Nanog helps healthy embryonic stem cells maintain their undifferentiated, uncommitted (i.e., pluripotent) state. But recent evidence suggests that Nanog promotes tumor growth by stimulating the proliferation of cancer stem cells.

"This study defines a signaling axis that is essential for head and neck cancer progression, and our findings show that this axis may be disrupted at three key steps," says principal investigator Quintin Pan, PhD, associate professor of otolaryngology at the OSUCCC -- James. "Targeted drugs that are designed to inhibit any or all of these three steps might greatly improve the treatment of head and neck cancer."

The findings were published in a recent issue of the journal Oncogene.

Specifically, the study shows that an enzyme called "protein kinase C-epsilon" (PKCepsilon) adds energy-packing phosphate groups to the Nanog molecule. This phosphorylation of Nanog stabilizes and activates the molecule.

It also triggers a series of events: Two Nanog molecules bind together, and these are joined by a third "co-activating" molecule called p300. This molecular complex then binds to the promoter region of a gene called Bmi1, an event that increases the expression of the gene. This, in turn, stimulates proliferation of cancer stem cells.

"Our work shows that the PKCepsilon/Nanog/Bmi1 signaling axis is essential to promote head and neck cancer," Pan says. "And it provides initial evidence that the development of inhibitors that block critical points in this axis might yield a potent collection of targeted anti-cancer therapeutics that could be valuable for the treatment of head and neck cancer."

Funding from the NIH/National Cancer Institute (grant CA135096), the American Cancer Society; The Michelle Theado Memorial Grant from The Joan Bisesi Fund for Head and Neck Oncology Research, and The Sloman Foundation supported this research.

Other researchers involved in this study were X. Xie, L. Piao, M. Old, T.N. Teknos, The Ohio State University; GS Cavey,Van Andel Research Institute; and AK Mapp, University of Michigan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. X Xie, L Piao, G S Cavey, M Old, T N Teknos, A K Mapp, Q Pan. Phosphorylation of Nanog is essential to regulate Bmi1 and promote tumorigenesis. Oncogene, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/onc.2013.173

Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Medical Center. "Nanog protein promotes growth of head and neck cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130618113852.htm>.
Ohio State University Medical Center. (2013, June 18). Nanog protein promotes growth of head and neck cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130618113852.htm
Ohio State University Medical Center. "Nanog protein promotes growth of head and neck cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130618113852.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 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