Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Promising way to boost body's immune surveillance via p53 in fight against cancer

Date:
September 19, 2013
Source:
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new mechanism involving p53, the famous tumor suppressor, to fight against aggressive cancers. This strategy works by sabotaging the ability of the cancer cells to hide from the immune system. This research opens a new avenue to improve targeted cancer therapy by harnessing the body's own immune system to control and eliminate cancer cells.

p53 also plays a role in virus infection by increasing MHC I. This is a microscope image of lung cancer cells infected with H1N1 influenza virus. Upon H1N1 viral infection, the cells showed an increase in MHC class I (green) and p53 (red) expression. The co-expression of increased MHC class I and p53 is in yellow. This demonstrates that p53ΰERAP1ΰMHC I pathway also occurs in viral infection. It may be interesting to explore the role of p53 in viral infection.
Credit: Agency for Science, Technology and Research

Researchers at A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) have discovered a new mechanism involving p53, the famous tumour suppressor, to fight against aggressive cancers. This strategy works by sabotaging the ability of the cancer cells to hide from the immune system. Published in the Nature Communications journal, this research opens a new avenue to improve targeted cancer therapy by harnessing the body's own immune system to control and eliminate cancer cells.

Also known as the "Guardian of the Genome," p53 fights cancer by causing damaged cells to die or by halting the growth of mutant cells before they become cancerous and spread to the rest of the body. Ironically, because of its pivotal role in coordinating a range of cancer-fighting mechanisms in the human body, it is also one of the most important cancer-causing genes when mutated. Studies have shown that more than 50% of all human cancers carry defects in the p53 gene, and almost all other cancers with a normal p53 function carry other defects which indirectly impair the cancer-fighting function of p53.

In this study, the SIgN team discovered for the first time that the integrity of p53 affects the production of a special cell surface protein called Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class I. MHC class I molecules on the cancer cell surface serve as targets for the immune system. Therefore, having less MHC I molecules may allow cancer cells to hide better and escape detection by the immune system.

Using two cancer cell lines differing only in the integrity of p53 gene, the scientists observed that cancer cells with defective p53 had much less MHC class I on the cell surface. Specifically, they discovered that p53 moderates the expression of MHC I by controlling the amount of another protein called ERAP1 in the cells. Interestingly, a number of disease conditions including tumour malignancy, multiple sclerosis and autoimmune disease were recently reported to be associated with ERAP1.

The team leader, Associate Professor Ren Ee Chee from SIgN said, "We were surprised to discover that p53 regulates MHC class I production by acting through ERAP1. This may explain how cancer cells escape detection by our body's immune system. More importantly, it opens up exciting avenues of research to explore how restoration of p53 with drugs such as those that target ERAP1 can help to harness the immune system to recognise and destroy cancer cells."

Acting Executive Director of SIgN, Associate Professor Laurent Rιnia said, "The team has uncovered a new door to manipulate one of the most studied yet enigmatic cancer-associated genes of our times. I am confident that this work will pave the way for more targeted, efficient and cost-effective treatment for the millions of cancer patients globally."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bei Wang, Dandan Niu, Liyun Lai, Ee Chee Ren. p53 increases MHC class I expression by upregulating the endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase ERAP1. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3359

Cite This Page:

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Promising way to boost body's immune surveillance via p53 in fight against cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130919093730.htm>.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. (2013, September 19). Promising way to boost body's immune surveillance via p53 in fight against cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130919093730.htm
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "Promising way to boost body's immune surveillance via p53 in fight against cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130919093730.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) 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