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Exploring the causes of cancer

Understanding the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer

Date:
November 23, 2015
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
Cells communicate with other cells in our bodies by sending and receiving signals. Cancer can occur when these signals are 'dysregulated' and abnormal cells grow out of control, scientists have determined.
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Cells communicate with other cells in our bodies by sending and receiving signals. Cancer can occur when these signals are "dysregulated" and abnormal cells grow out of control.

In the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen's University researcher Mathieu Crupi studies the RET protein that is present on the surface of cells in your body and is responsible for receiving signals from outside a cell and passing on the messages within the cell. As part of a research team working with Dr. Lois Mulligan, he has identified important molecules that allow the RET protein to enter a cell and regulate its signals.

RET is a protein that plays an important role in kidney and nerve development and is also important in many human cancers including thyroid, breast and pancreas.

"Since RET has been shown to contribute to many different cancer types, understanding how active RET moves into the cell and is 'turned off' in normal cells may in future provide us with therapeutic opportunities to control its function in cancer cells," says Mr. Crupi.

"The movement of proteins from the cell surface into compartments within the cell is an important process regulating the duration and magnitude of the signals that cause cells to grow, mature or survive," says Mr. Crupi. "These movements are the key steps in controlling RET's activity and, in the future, provide answers to controlling the protein's function in cancer cells.

His research was supported by the Cancer Research Society and was published in a recent edition of Traffic.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Queen's University. Original written by Anne Craig. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mathieu J. F. Crupi, Piriya Yoganathan, Leslie N. Bone, Eric Lian, Andrew Fetz, Costin N. Antonescu, Lois M. Mulligan. Distinct Temporal Regulation of RET Isoform Internalization: Roles of Clathrin and AP2. Traffic, 2015; 16 (11): 1155 DOI: 10.1111/tra.12315

Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "Exploring the causes of cancer: Understanding the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151123203623.htm>.
Queen's University. (2015, November 23). Exploring the causes of cancer: Understanding the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151123203623.htm
Queen's University. "Exploring the causes of cancer: Understanding the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151123203623.htm (accessed May 8, 2017).