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.

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 September 21, 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 September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) — The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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