Identification of a novel tumor suppressor

June 21, 2010
CD4/CD8 double positive T-cell lymphoma cells (upper right quadrant) in lymph node

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI), have identified a novel tumor suppressor playing an important role in T-cell lymphoma. The protein kinase NDR1 has so far been implicated in the processes controlling cell death and centrosome duplication. In a recent study published in Science Signaling the FMI scientists show that T-cell lymphomas develop once the protein NDR1 is lost.

FMI Postdoc Hauke Cornils is excited: "We have found a novel tumor suppressive function for NDR kinases, which seem to play an important role in T-cell lymphoma not only in mice but also in humans." His excitement is understandable because tumor suppressors inhibit cancer development by multiple mechanisms such as restricting or promoting cell death. Loss of function is therefore directly linked to . The identification of a novel tumor suppressor is always a good starting point to understand better the molecular mechanisms leading to cancer.

The kinase NDR1 has been known to regulate cell death in cell culture systems. To study the role of NDR1 in regulation in vivo, FMI scientists around Hauke Cornils and Brian A. Hemmings, the group leader leading the kinase efforts at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, analyzed mice lacking NDR1. To their surprise they found that NDR1's sister kinase called NDR2 often chips in functionally and takes on some of the NDR1 tasks. Next, the scientists could show that a reduction in the amount of both NDR1 and NDR2 protein leads to the development of T-cell lymphomas in mice. "The up-regulation of NDR2 in NDR1 deficient mice seems to be a protective mechanism against ," says Hauke Cornils, "We were happy to observe that in tumors both kinases were indeed down-regulated." What's more, when the FMI scientists together with their colleagues from the Institute of Pathology at the University of Basel analyzed T-cell lymphoma samples from patients, they found that NDR kinase protein levels were reduced in these samples as well. This strongly supports the notion that NDR kinases function as a tumor suppressor is conserved between humans and mice.

"We do not know yet, how exactly NDR kinases are down regulated in T-cell lymphoma. But we believe we have found a potential cellular marker for progression into T-cell lymphoma," explains Hauke Cornils. Reduced levels of NDR proteins could therefore be used as a diagnostic marker for T-cell lymphoma. "We would now like to look into other tumors as well. May as well be, that we have found a tumor suppressor that controls entry into a variety of cancers."

More information: Paper: stke.sciencemag.org/cgi/conten … /sigtrans;3/126/ra47

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Researchers develop test that can diagnose two cancer types

December 12, 2017
A blood test using infrared spectroscopy can be used to diagnose two types of cancer, lymphoma and melanoma, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

Cancer-causing mutation suppresses immune system around tumours

December 12, 2017
Mutations in 'Ras' genes, which drive 25% of human cancers by causing tumour cells to grow, multiply and spread, can also protect cancer cells from the immune system, finds a new study from the Francis Crick Institute and ...

Atoh1, a potential Achilles' heel of Sonic Hedgehog medulloblastoma

December 12, 2017
Medulloblastoma is the most common type of solid brain tumor in children. Current treatments offer limited success and may leave patients with severe neurological side effects, including psychiatric disorders, growth retardation ...

Drug suppresses spread of breast cancer caused by stem-like cells

December 12, 2017
Rare stem-like tumor cells play a critical role in the spread of breast cancer, but a vulnerability in the pathway that powers them offers a strategy to target these cells using existing drugs before metastatic disease occurs, ...

MRI scans predict patients' ability to fight the spread of cancer

December 12, 2017
A simple, non-invasive procedure that can indicate how long patients with cancer that has spread to the brain might survive and whether they are likely to respond to immunotherapy has been developed by researchers in Liverpool.

Scientists discover possible master switch for programming cancer immunotherapy

December 11, 2017
During infection or tumor growth, a type of specialized white blood cells called CD8+ T cells rapidly multiply within the spleen and lymph nodes and acquire the ability to kill diseased cells. Some of these killer T cells ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.