Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New mechanism allowing tumor cells to escape immune surveillance discovered

Date:
March 18, 2014
Source:
Moffitt Cancer Center
Summary:
The immune system plays a pivotal role in targeting cancer cells for destruction. However, tumor cells are smart and have developed ways to avoid immune detection. A collaborative team of researchers recently discovered a novel mechanism that lung cancer cells use to block detection by a type of immune cell called a natural killer cell (NK cell).

The immune system plays a pivotal role in targeting cancer cells for destruction. However, tumor cells are smart and have developed ways to avoid immune detection. A collaborative team of researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center recently discovered a novel mechanism that lung cancer cells use to block detection by a type of immune cell called a natural killer cell (NK cell).

Related Articles


NK cells find and destroy virally infected cells and also play an important role in detecting and killing tumor cells. However, tumors produce high amounts of a protein called Transforming Growth Factor-Beta (TGF-β) that suppresses the activity of NK cells.

A team of researchers led by Julie Y. Djeu, Ph.D., associate center director of education and training at Moffitt, discovered that TGF-β produced by tumor cells causes NK cells to make high levels of a molecule called microRNA-183 (miR-183). MicroRNAs are important regulators of gene expression. They bind to genetic components called RNA and target them for destruction. Scientists discovered in the early 2000s that deregulation of microRNAs can lead to the development of cancer.

Djeu's laboratory reported that miR-183 binds to the RNA for a protein called DAP12, resulting in significantly lower levels of DAP12 in NK cells. DAP12 plays a critical role in activating the NK cells' cytotoxic pathways; therefore, lower levels of DAP12 in NK cells results in a reduced ability to target tumor cells.

The researchers confirmed their observations by studying tissue from lung cancer tumors. They discovered that in normal tissue NK cells had moderate to high levels of DAP12; however, the NK cells within or surrounding the tumor had significantly reduced levels of DAP12.

Djeu explained that, "The world of microRNAs is just being explored, especially within cancer cells, to identify what they control. How microRNAs might intercept immune cells in cancer is unknown and we were able to provide insight into a critical means by which cancer cells exploit miR-183 to dampen immune cell function."

Lung cancer causes the most cancer-related deaths in the United States, and researchers are searching for new cellular targets to increase survival rates. Inhibiting TGF-β is not ideal because it is critical to normal cellular processes. However, the Moffitt scientists suggest that it may be possible to target the TGF-β-miR183-DAP12 pathway in patients with lung cancer to activate the immune system and kill cancer cells.

This study appeared online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on February 28.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. S. Donatelli, J.-M. Zhou, D. L. Gilvary, E. A. Eksioglu, X. Chen, W. D. Cress, E. B. Haura, M. B. Schabath, D. Coppola, S. Wei, J. Y. Djeu. TGF--inducible microRNA-183 silences tumor-associated natural killer cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; 111 (11): 4203 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319269111

Cite This Page:

Moffitt Cancer Center. "New mechanism allowing tumor cells to escape immune surveillance discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318111319.htm>.
Moffitt Cancer Center. (2014, March 18). New mechanism allowing tumor cells to escape immune surveillance discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318111319.htm
Moffitt Cancer Center. "New mechanism allowing tumor cells to escape immune surveillance discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318111319.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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