Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetically diverse cancer cells key to brain tumor resistance

Date:
January 30, 2014
Source:
Virginia Tech
Summary:
For a cancer cell, it pays to have a group of eccentric friends. Like X-Men characters, a group of cancer cells with diverse physical traits is safer, because it takes different strategies to kill each member. The more diverse the group, the better the chances are for individual cells to survive and join forces as a cohesive tumor.

In this image of mouse brain tissue containing human brain tumor cells, red dye shows invasive, stem-like cells that carry two copies of chromosome 7, while green dye depicts non-stem-like cells that carry three copies of the problematic chromosome. The cells can change into one another by adding or deleting copies of of chromosome 7. Mathematical modeling suggested the involvement of chromosome instability helps tumor cells fend off treatment.
Credit: Yi-Hong Zhou/University of California-Irvine

For a cancer cell, it pays to have a group of eccentric friends.

Like X-Men characters, a group of cancer cells with diverse physical traits is safer, because it takes different strategies to kill each member.

The more diverse the group, the better the chances are for individual cells to survive and join forces as a cohesive tumor.

A multi-university research team, including researchers with the Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech, discovered that the unique physical differences among brain tumor cells were because of chromosomal abnormalities.

Understanding the biology behind diverse cell production in cancerous brain tumors may contribute to knowledge for better treatments, according to Jianhua Xing, an associate professor of biological sciences in the College of Science and a Fralin Life Science Institute affiliate.

Xing, with Yi-Hong Zhou, an assistant professor of neurological surgery in the School of Medicine at the University of California-Irvine, concluded that tumor cells with genes that have varying numbers of copies of chromosome 7 leads to cell diversity and survival of brain tumors.

Cancer cells bypass the surveillance systems that limit the number of copies of chromosomes in normal cells to produce an abnormal number of chromosomes.

Zhou, whose research program is devoted to developing novel drugs to treat brain cancer, led the experimental portion of the project, and Xing, an expert in mathematical modeling of biological systems, analyzed the results.

The discovery was published in November in PLOS One.

"Cancer is a biological entity that continues to evolve, where the cancer ecosystem, with its dynamic interactions among cancer cells and normal cells, selects the best cells to survive," Zhou said. "Our findings presented only one aspect, among many others, that cancer cells use to change, with mis-segregation of chromosomes clearly being the most powerful one. By applying this concept of cancer survivability, a rewarding therapeutic approach might be developed through reducing random or chance development of tumor cells, which we are currently investigating."

The project involved 21 members from the University of California-Irvine, Virginia Tech, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Long Beach, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences academic health center, Ziren Research LLC, and the National Engineering Center for Biochip at Shanghai in China.

Key work was done by Yuanjie Hu, a graduate student at the University of California-Irvine; Hang Zhang of Hebei, China, a graduate student at Virginia Tech; Xiao-Jun Tian, a postdoctoral associate at Virginia Tech; and two research specialists -- Ning Ru of the University of California-Irvine and Neil T. Hoa of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Long Beach.

"While it's unlikely that this finding is the only mechanism that controls cancer plasticity, it is a piece of the puzzle," said Xing. "Cancer cells are, unfortunately, very smart. That is why the battle against cancer is so difficult."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Yuanjie Hu, Ning Ru, Huasheng Xiao, Abhishek Chaturbedi, Neil T. Hoa, Xiao-Jun Tian, Hang Zhang, Chao Ke, Fengrong Yan, Jodi Nelson, Zhenzhi Li, Robert Gramer, Liping Yu, Eric Siegel, Xiaona Zhang, Zhenyu Jia, Martin R. Jadus, Charles L. Limoli, Mark E. Linskey, Jianhua Xing, Yi-Hong Zhou. Tumor-Specific Chromosome Mis-Segregation Controls Cancer Plasticity by Maintaining Tumor Heterogeneity. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (11): e80898 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080898

Cite This Page:

Virginia Tech. "Genetically diverse cancer cells key to brain tumor resistance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140130155827.htm>.
Virginia Tech. (2014, January 30). Genetically diverse cancer cells key to brain tumor resistance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140130155827.htm
Virginia Tech. "Genetically diverse cancer cells key to brain tumor resistance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140130155827.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 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