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Tumor-blocking role found for cell regulation molecule

Date:
January 9, 2015
Source:
Manchester University
Summary:
The role of a protein in regulating tumor development has been studied by researchers who have found that it suppresses liver cancer growth in the lab. The investigation has focused on the role of a protein controlled by JNK and p38, known as ATF2, in tumor development.
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Manchester scientists have explored the role of a protein in regulating tumor development and found that it suppresses liver cancer growth in the lab.

In order to develop new anti-cancer treatments, researchers need to identify target molecules that are responsible for controlling tumor growth. Two such molecules are JNK and p38, which both regulate cell multiplication and cell death.

In a new project, scientists from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at The University of Manchester – part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre – have investigated the role of a protein controlled by JNK and p38, known as ATF2, in tumor development.

Professor Nic Jones, leader of the Cell Regulation group and Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, who led the study, said: “There have been conflicting findings in terms of whether JNK and ATF2 suppress or encourage tumor growth. We wanted to clarify their role in the development of cancer.”

The researchers investigated a model of liver cancer and demonstrated that ATF2 appeared to suppress tumor growth. Further study showed that this process was dependent on JNK. They then examined molecules controlled by ATF2 and found that some of them were present in reduced levels in a number of different human tumors compared with normal cells.

This result suggests that ATF2 function is impaired during tumor development and indicates that its tumor suppression role may be more widespread than just liver cancer.

“We have demonstrated that JNK and ATF2 have a role to play in tumor suppression. Additional research is now needed to determine what causes changes in the levels of these ATF2-dependent molecules in tumors,” added Professor Jones.


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Materials provided by Manchester University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Malgorzata Gozdecka, Stephen Lyons, Saki Kondo, Janet Taylor, Yaoyong Li, Jacek Walczynski, Gerald Thiel, Wolfgang Breitwieser, Nic Jones. JNK Suppresses Tumor Formation via a Gene-Expression Program Mediated by ATF2. Cell Reports, 2014; 9 (4): 1361 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.10.043

Cite This Page:

Manchester University. "Tumor-blocking role found for cell regulation molecule." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150109084641.htm>.
Manchester University. (2015, January 9). Tumor-blocking role found for cell regulation molecule. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150109084641.htm
Manchester University. "Tumor-blocking role found for cell regulation molecule." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150109084641.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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