Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Dustman' protein helps kill cancer cells

Date:
April 21, 2014
Source:
Cancer Research UK
Summary:
Cancer researchers have discovered a new 'dustman' role for a molecule that helps a drug kill cancer cells according to a study. The new findings point to a possible test that could identify patients who would be most responsive to a new class of cancer drugs and also those who might develop resistance, as well as suggesting new approaches to discovering more effective drugs.

Cancer researchers have discovered a new 'dustman' role for a molecule that helps a drug kill cancer cells according to a study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Related Articles


The new findings point to a possible test that could identify patients who would be most responsive to a new class of cancer drugs and also those who might develop resistance, as well as suggesting new approaches to discovering more effective drugs.

The study, by Cancer Research UK-funded scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, shows that a molecule -- known as 'Cullin-5' (CUL5) -- behaves like a combined cleaner and dustman: sweeping up the proteins that tell cancer cells to divide continuously and consigning them to the cellular 'dustbin' for disposal.

Their study shows that CUL5 works in opposition to another important molecule called HSP90 -- one of the guardians of a cell's dividing machinery -- which scientists are already trying to block with drugs to stop cancer cells dividing.

Scientists found that when cancer cells are treated with drugs that block HSP90, the cleaning protein (CUL5) immediately stepped in to 'bin' the proteins that were telling the cancer cell to keep dividing.

CUL5 also helps to pull the 'dividing-signal' proteins away from the protective shelter of HSP90, and labels them with a tag that sends them straight to the cellular dustbin -- effectively stopping cancer in its tracks.

Based on their findings, the researchers think that some patients may be resistant to the HSP90-blocking drugs if their cancer cells have lower amounts of CUL5.

Conversely, the drugs may work better in patients with higher CUL5 levels.

Professor Paul Workman, study lead, deputy chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London and Cancer Research UK life fellow, said: "We've known for some time that drugs that block HSP90 have great potential as treatments for cancers such as breast, bowel, lung and skin, and we had an initial clue that the protein CUL5 may be involved in some way in how these drugs work.

"Our new research shows that CUL5 is not only vital in the response of cancer cells to HSP90 inhibitors but also reveals surprising insights into precisely how it works by acting at several different levels.

"What also surprised us was that CUL5 gets rid of many more of the cancer-causing proteins than we'd previously imagined and that it's effective across several types of tumour. This suggests that a test for CUL5 in patients could help us tell whether they might respond to HSP90-blocking drugs, as well as pointing to new targets to develop more effective drugs."

Workman and his team are responsible for the discovery of one of the world-leading HSP90 inhibitor drugs, known as AUY922, which is being tested in large-scale trials in patients with drug-resistant breast and lung cancer.

Professor Nic Jones, Cancer Research UK's chief scientist, said: "There's still a lot we need to find out about HSP90, CUL5 and the other molecules involved in controlling how a cell divides, but studies like this make that picture clearer and give scientists potential new avenues to investigate.

"As we find out more about the molecules that cause cancer cells to keep dividing, it will help doctors to better tailor treatments for patients."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Samant, RS et al. The E3 ubiquitin ligase Cullin-5 modulates multiple molecular and cellular responses to HSP90 inhibition in human cancer cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 2014 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1322412111

Cite This Page:

Cancer Research UK. "'Dustman' protein helps kill cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140421151925.htm>.
Cancer Research UK. (2014, April 21). 'Dustman' protein helps kill cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140421151925.htm
Cancer Research UK. "'Dustman' protein helps kill cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140421151925.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
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
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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