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Protein identified that regulates cellular trafficking, potential for anti-cancer therapy

Date:
September 22, 2013
Source:
University of Southern California - Health Sciences
Summary:
Scientists have identified a new regulator for the intracellular trafficking of proteins between the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, which is a crucial process for maintaining homeostasis and prevention of human disease. The study provides a new avenue to investigate anti-cancer agents that target the regulatory protein UVRAG and/or intracellular trafficking process.

Molecular microbiologists at the University of Southern California (USC) have uncovered intricate regulatory mechanisms within the cell that could lead to novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Their findings, which have long-standing significance in the basic understanding of cell biology, appear in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

"Our research reveals a new regulatory mechanism that coordinates two distinct intracellular processes that are critical to cellular homeostasis and disease development," said Chengyu Liang, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and principal investigator of the study.

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus are cellular organelles in eurkaryotic organisms where proteins are synthesized and packaged for secretion through the body. The trafficking of proteins between the ER and Golgi must be tightly modulated to maintain the health of the cell and prevent diseases like cancer from taking hold.

"Interest in the role of ER-Golgi network during cancer cell death has been gaining momentum," said Shanshan He, Ph.D., research associate at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and one of the study's first authors. "In this study, we identified a novel regulatory factor for the Golgi-ER retrograde transport and a new mechanistic connection between the physiological trafficking and the autophagic transportation of cellular material."

The researchers discovered that the UV irradiation resistance-associated gene protein (UVRAG), which has been implicated in the suppression of colon and breast cancer, coordinates trafficking of proteins between the ER and Golgi apparatus and also autophagy, the natural process of breaking down cellular components.

"Given that the ER-Golgi network is often dismantled in malignant conditions and that UVRAG is intensively involved in different types of human cancers, this study gives us a new avenue to investigate anti-cancer agents that target UVRAG and/or the ER-Golgi pathway in cancer and other relevant diseases," Liang said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California - Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shanshan He, Duojiao Ni, Binyun Ma, Joo-Hyung Lee, Tian Zhang, Irene Ghozalli, Sara Dolatshahi Pirooz, Zhen Zhao, Nagakumar Bharatham, Baihong Li, Soohwan Oh, Wen-Hwa Lee, Yoshinori Takahashi, Hong-Gang Wang, Arlet Minassian, Pinghui Feng, Vojo Deretic, Rainer Pepperkok, Mitsuo Tagaya, Ho Sup Yoon, Chengyu Liang. PtdIns(3)P-bound UVRAG coordinates Golgi–ER retrograde and Atg9 transport by differential interactions with the ER tether and the beclin1 complex. Nature Cell Biology, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/ncb2848

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California - Health Sciences. "Protein identified that regulates cellular trafficking, potential for anti-cancer therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130922155124.htm>.
University of Southern California - Health Sciences. (2013, September 22). Protein identified that regulates cellular trafficking, potential for anti-cancer therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130922155124.htm
University of Southern California - Health Sciences. "Protein identified that regulates cellular trafficking, potential for anti-cancer therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130922155124.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

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