A gene that protects against colorectal cancers
The research team in France has developed an animal model carrying a mutation of the DCC gene. Mice carrying the mutation develop tumours, because this gene can no longer induce the death of the cancer cells. This discovery could lead to the development of a new targeted cancer treatment that aims to reactivate the dying of cancer cells.
The results of this study have been published as a Letter in the 11th December 2011 issue of the journal Nature.
The team led by Patrick Mehlen, Director of the DEVweCAN 'Laboratory of Excellence' at the Lyon Cancer Research Centre, studies the cell death process (apoptosis) and, in particular, the mechanism that makes the cells understand that they should initiate a self-destruction process when they become abnormal. Patrick Mehlen's team suggested that this mechanism could operate via sentinels located on the surface of cells, which examine their environment. The scientists named these sentinels 'dependence receptors'.
The research team focused on this concept of 'dependence receptors'. When a cell receptor is associated with its ligand, the classic message indicates 'all is well', and leads to cell survival. On the other hand, when the receptor is deprived of its ligand, it can send a message leading to cell death. This mechanism is also called 'apoptosis.' When this is applied to cancer research, the absence of ligands could cause the death of cancer cells that proliferate in an anarchic manner.
In this study, Patrick Mehlen's team shows that the DCC gene (Deleted Colorectal Cancer), which codes for a 'dependence receptor', protects the organism from the onset of cancer by causing the death of cells that become cancerous. The researchers used a mouse model where the DCC gene has been genetically modified. The mutation of this dependence receptor prevents the induction of apoptosis. When the DCC gene is eliminated by mutation, the mouse spontaneously develops colon cancer.
'The organism is naturally protected from the development of cancers thanks to the presence of this tumour-suppressing gene. Unfortunately, certain cancer cells escape from this control by blocking this 'dependence receptor' mechanism. That is how we know that the DCC gene is extinguished in most human cancers,' explains Patrick Mehlen.
In the near future, this research work could lead to a new targeted treatment that aims to reactivate the death of the cancer cells to destroy breast cancer, lung cancer, etc. 'Our group has developed several candidate drugs that reactivate the cell death induced by the DCC receptor in animal models, and we hope to be able to carry out human clinical testing of these candidate drugs in three years' time,' concludes Patrick Mehlen.
More information: DCC constrains tumour progression via its dependence receptor activity, Nature, Dec 11, 2011. doi:10.1038/nature10708
Journal reference: Nature
Provided by INSERM
- Breast cancer drug pushes colon cancer cells to their death Jun 08, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- New drug shows potential for treatment-resistant leukemia Apr 11, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Blood pressure drugs halt pancreatic cancer cell growth, researchers find Apr 14, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- UH researchers explore treatments for breast and colon cancers Aug 22, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Research identifies how cancer cells cheat death Jun 08, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
May 23, 2013 Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
In recent years, microRNAs (miRNAs) and other non-coding RNAs are small molecules that help control the expression of specific proteins. In recent years they have emerged as disease biomarkers. miRNA profiles have been used ...
Cancer 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Cancer cells spread and grow by avoiding detection and destruction by the immune system. Stimulation of the immune system can help to eliminate cancer cells; however, there are many factors that cause the immune system to ...
Cancer 16 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Researchers from London's Kingston University have begun a two-year study which could help prolong the lives of people with colorectal tumours.
Cancer 20 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Transformative research from Western University has identified new hormones in the body which may suppress breast cancer and stimulate the regression of breast tumors.
Cancer 20 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Curtin University researchers have found evidence that targeting specific cells in the body can reverse the effects of cancer on the immune system.
Cancer 21 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
20 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
14 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
17 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
17 hours ago | 5 / 5 (5) | 0 |
How can healthy people who hear voices help schizophrenics? Finding the answer for this is at the centre of research conducted at the University of Bergen.
20 hours ago | 4 / 5 (2) | 2
(Medical Xpress)—The way Alzheimer's disease is portrayed by advocacy groups and the media is having undue influence on the euthanasia debate, according to a Deakin University nursing ethics professor.
21 hours ago | not rated yet | 2