Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Healthy balance: model for studying cancer, immune diseases

Date:
February 4, 2014
Source:
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Summary:
The protein STAT1 is involved in defending the body against pathogens and for inhibiting tumor development. If the levels of the protein are out of balance, disease may result. Researchers have developed a mouse whose STAT1 levels can be modified at will, enabling the study of the involvement of STAT1 in various processes.

Too much STAT1 in the cell induces chronic inflammation and auto immune diseases in the body. In contrast, insufficient amounts of STAT1 can cause chronic infections and cancer.
Credit: Nicole R. Leitner / Vetmeduni Vienna

The protein STAT1 is involved in defending the body against pathogens and for inhibiting tumor development. If the levels of the protein are out of balance, disease may result. Researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have developed a mouse whose STAT1 levels can be modified at will, enabling the study of the involvement of STAT1 in various processes. The work has now been published in the online journal PLOS ONE.

Related Articles


STAT1 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 1) is a member of a family of transcription factors, cellular proteins that control whether and when particular genes are active. STAT1 transmits signals from interferons to the immune system. Animals with too little STAT1 suffer from weak immune responses and are prone to develop tumors: human cancer patients frequently have mutations in their STAT1 gene. On the other hand, too much STAT1 causes the immune system to overreact and in humans often results in autoimmune diseases. It is thus vital to ensure the correct dose of STAT1 in the body.

Dosing STAT1 in the mouse

Nicole R. Leitner from the Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics and her colleagues now report the development of a genetically modified mouse where the level of STAT1 can be fine-tuned. The production of STAT1 is under the control of the drug doxycycline, which is added to the drinking water. If less doxycycline is given, STAT1 levels are correspondingly low; adding more doxycycline to the water results in higher STAT1 levels. The system enables the researchers to investigate the precise role of STAT1 in various disease conditions such as breast cancer or infectious diseases.

"Mice whose STAT1 can be completely switched off, so-called knock-out mice, have been around for some time. The special feature of our model is its ability to produce an exact dose of protein. This will make it possible for us to examine the origins and the course of many diseases and ultimately to test possible cures for them," says Leitner. Mathias Müller, the Director of the Institute, is excited by the model's potential. As he notes, "we are currently investigating the function of STAT1 in various forms of cancer, such as breast cancer and leukemia. In the future it might be possible to use information on the amount of STAT1 in the cell to give an indication about the progression of diseases and thus to guide the choice of therapy."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicole R. Leitner, Caroline Lassnig, Rita Rom, Susanne Heider, Zsuzsanna Bago-Horvath, Robert Eferl, Simone Müller, Thomas Kolbe, Lukas Kenner, Thomas Rülicke, Birgit Strobl, Mathias Müller. Inducible, Dose-Adjustable and Time-Restricted Reconstitution of Stat1 Deficiency In Vivo. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1): e86608 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086608

Cite This Page:

Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. "Healthy balance: model for studying cancer, immune diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073821.htm>.
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. (2014, February 4). Healthy balance: model for studying cancer, immune diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073821.htm
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. "Healthy balance: model for studying cancer, immune diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073821.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) — A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
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

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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