Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein found that fuels repair of treatment-resistant cancer cells

Date:
July 31, 2014
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Imagine you're fighting for your life but no matter how hard you hit, your opponent won't go down. The same can be said of highly treatment-resistant cancers, such as head and neck cancer, where during radiation and chemotherapy some cancer cells repair themselves, survive and thrive. Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world, but the late detection and treatment resistance result in a high mortality rate. Now, researchers have found that a particular protein encourages those cancer cells to repair themselves.

(Left column) Untreated head and neck cancer cells are tagged fluorescent green. (Right column) Shows cells treated with the chemical inhibitor that blocks TRIP13, which results in a dramatically smaller tumor.
Credit: Rajat Banerjee

Imagine you're fighting for your life but no matter how hard you hit, your opponent won't go down.

The same can be said of highly treatment-resistant cancers, such as head and neck cancer, where during radiation and chemotherapy some cancer cells repair themselves, survive and thrive. Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world, but the late detection and treatment resistance result in a high mortality rate.

Now, University of Michigan researchers have found that a particular protein -- TRIP13 -- encourages those cancer cells to repair themselves. And they have identified an existing chemical that blocks this mechanism for cell repair.

"This is a very significant advance, because identifying the function of the protein that fuels the repair of cancer cells and having an existing chemical that blocks the process, could speed the process of moving to clinical trials," said principal investigator Nisha D'Silva, U-M professor of dentistry and associate professor of pathology.

Typically, if scientists discover a promising drug therapy target, it takes years to develop drug compounds from scratch and move these into clinical trials.

If cell DNA is damaged and the cell cannot repair the damage, the cell dies. In head and neck cancers, D'Silva and colleagues showed that cancer cells that overexpress TRIP13 were able to repair their DNA enough to survive and continue to grow as cancer.

"Targeting this repair mechanism with specific drugs could increase effectiveness of treatment and improve survival of cancer patients," D'Silva said. "And given the overexpression of TRIP13 in several treatment-resistant cancers, this strategy will likely be important for multiple cancers."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Rajat Banerjee, Nickole Russo, Min Liu, Venkatesha Basrur, Emily Bellile, Nallasivam Palanisamy, Christina S. Scanlon, Elizabeth van Tubergen, Ronald C. Inglehart, Tarek Metwally, Ram-Shankar Mani, Anastasia Yocum, Mukesh K. Nyati, Rogerio M. Castilho, Sooryanarayana Varambally, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Nisha J. D’Silva. TRIP13 promotes error-prone nonhomologous end joining and induces chemoresistance in head and neck cancer. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5527

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Protein found that fuels repair of treatment-resistant cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731095011.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2014, July 31). Protein found that fuels repair of treatment-resistant cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731095011.htm
University of Michigan. "Protein found that fuels repair of treatment-resistant cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731095011.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) 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