New study identifies new potential approaches to treat myelofibrosis

(Medical Xpress) -- A new study conducted by a team of researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) sheds light on a possible new approach to treat the bone marrow disease known as myelofibrosis by inhibiting an enzyme that connects extracellular fibers. The study, published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was conducted under the direction of Katya Ravid, PhD, professor of medicine and biochemistry and director of the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research at BUSM.

Myelofibroisis, which currently affects between 16,000 and 18,500 Americans, occurs when bone marrow is replaced by , resulting in a disruption in blood cell production.

Blood cells originate from precursor stem cells, which typically reside in the bone marrow. Red and are categorized as cells with a myeloid lineage, which also includes megakaryocytic cells that give rise to blood-clotting platelets. An excess proliferation of causes a surplus production of fibers outside of the cell, which forms a dense matrix within the bone marrow that disrupts the formation of these blood cells.

Previous research has shown that the enzyme lysyl oxidase links and stabilizes the extracellular fibers, but as of yet, a treatment aimed at inhibiting the formation of these fibers has not been successful. Ravid's team demonstrated that inhibiting that enzyme using pharmacologic agents resulted in a significant decrease in the burden of .

The team's investigation, which used a mouse model with a dense matrix, showed that while the megakaryotic cells that proliferate express high levels of lysyl oxidase, the normal, mature megakaryotic cells express scarce levels of the enzyme. The group also determined that lysyl oxidase boosts the proliferation of these cells, and also identified the mechanism that causes that to happen.

"This study uncovers a potential new approach aimed at controlling and treating myelofibrosis," said senior author Ravid. "This discovery will allow additional research in the field of leukemia to follow a new avenue with the potential of finding new treatments against the disease."

Provided by Boston University Medical Center

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Molecule dictates how stem cells travel

Jan 14, 2006

U.S. researchers have defined a molecule that dictates how blood stem cells travel to the bone marrow and establish blood and immune cell production.

Protein key to control, growth of blood cells

Aug 13, 2008

New research sheds light on the biological events by which stem cells in the bone marrow develop into the broad variety of cells that circulate in the blood. The findings may help improve the success of bone marrow transplants ...

Preventing Prostate Cancer to Bone Metastasis

Jul 13, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- In new research on prostate cancer to bone metastasis, Dr. Phillip Trackman of Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine explains that the lysyl oxidase pro-peptide (LOX-PP) inhibits prostate ...

Recommended for you

How Alzheimer's peptides shut down cellular powerhouses

13 hours ago

The failing in the work of nerve cells: An international team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Chris Meisinger from the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Freiburg has discovered ...

User comments