Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Important piece in brain tumor puzzle found by scientists

Date:
July 7, 2014
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
A member of the protein family known as SUMO -- small ubiquitin-like modifier -- is a key to why tumor cells multiply uncontrollably, especially in the case of glioblastoma, scientists have discovered. Glioblastoma is the most common and lethal brain cancer. Current standard treatments include surgical resection, adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Despite the treatments, patients survive about a year and half. The cancer continues growing in part due to the presence of the cancer stem cells.

Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University and McGill University Health Centre have shown that a member of the protein family known as SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier) is a key to why tumour cells multiply uncontrollably, especially in the case of glioblastoma. The SUMO family proteins modify other proteins and the SUMOylation of proteins are critical for many cellular processes. Identifying SUMO's role in the cancer cell growth will lead to a new strategy for glioblastoma treatment.

Related Articles


Glioblastoma is the most common and lethal brain cancer. Current standard treatments include surgical resection, adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Despite the treatments, patients survive about a year and half. The cancer continues growing in part due to the presence of the cancer stem cells. It is critical to understand cancer growing pathways in the stem cells for development of stem cells targeted therapies.

The molecular mechanisms that control cancer growth through cell cycle progression, involve a whole host of proteins and many aspects of this complex process are still unknown. One group of proteins termed cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) drive the cell cycle; yet, it is unclear why the cancer cells maintain a large amount of CDK proteins.

"In investigation of the cell cycle of human glioblastoma, we uncovered that CDK6 is modified by SUMO1.CDK6 sumoylation inhibits its degradation and thus stabilizes CDK6 protein in the cancer," says Dr. Anita Bellail, a researcher at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University and McGill University Health Centre, and lead author on the paper published in Nature Communications. Co-authors on the paper include Jeffrey J. Olson of the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University and Chunhai "Charlie" Hao, Department of Pathology, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University and McGill University Health Centre.

"We found that CDK6 sumoylation is required for the renewal and growth of the cancer stem cells in glioblastoma. Inhibition of SUMO1 eliminates the stem cells and suppresses the cancer progression."

Their finding adds concrete evidence to recent studies examining sumoylation pathways in human cancer development and progression. With the new understanding of how SUMO affects the cell cycle in cancer stem cells, this group of scientists are currently screening for SUMO1 targeted new drugs for the treatments of human glioblastoma.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Anita C. Bellail, Jeffrey J. Olson, Chunhai Hao. SUMO1 modification stabilizes CDK6 protein and drives the cell cycle and glioblastoma progression. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5234

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Important piece in brain tumor puzzle found by scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140707103643.htm>.
McGill University. (2014, July 7). Important piece in brain tumor puzzle found by scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140707103643.htm
McGill University. "Important piece in brain tumor puzzle found by scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140707103643.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feeling Young Might Mean A Longer Life Span

Feeling Young Might Mean A Longer Life Span

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A study published in JAMA shows that people who feel younger than their chronological age might actually live longer than those who feel old. 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


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