Exploring the causes of cancer

November 23, 2015 by Anne Craig, Queen's University

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 may in future provide us with therapeutic opportunities to control its function in ," 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 .

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

Explore further: New approach in the treatment of breast cancer

More information: Traffic, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 … 1/tra.12315/abstract

Related Stories

New approach in the treatment of breast cancer

August 8, 2013
Scientists at the MedUni Vienna, in collaboration with a working group led by Nancy Hynes at the University of Basel, have discovered a new approach in the treatment of breast cancer: an international team involving the Clinical ...

Novel oncogenic RET mutation found in small cell lung cancer

August 22, 2014
For the first time an oncogenic somatic mutation at amino acid 918 in the RET (rearranged during transfection) protein has been identified in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) tumors and enforced expression of this mutation within ...

Researchers identify biomarker for smoker's lung cancer

September 19, 2013
Mayo Clinic researchers have shown that a specific protein pair may be a successful prognostic biomarker for identifying smoking-related lung cancers. The protein—ASCL1—is associated with increased expression of the RET ...

Alternative target for breast cancer drugs

July 19, 2013
Scientists have identified higher levels of a receptor protein found on the surface of human breast tumour cells that may serve as a new drug target for the treatment of breast cancer. The results, which are published today ...

Researchers discover how some breast cancers alter their sensitivity to estrogen

July 27, 2011
Using human breast cancer cells and the protein that causes fireflies to glow, a Johns Hopkins team has shed light on why some breast cancer cells become resistant to the anticancer effects of the drug tamoxifen. The key ...

A new target for immuno-oncology therapies

November 16, 2015
By studying a type of immune cells, a team of researchers at the IRCM led by André Veillette, MD, identified the mechanism of action for a new target for novel immune-oncology treatments. Their discovery is published today ...

Recommended for you

Treatment shown to improve the odds against bone marrow cancer

December 15, 2018
Hope has emerged for patients with a serious type of bone marrow cancer as new research into a therapeutic drug has revealed improved outcomes and survival rates.

Immunotherapy combo not approved for advanced kidney cancer patients on the NHS

December 14, 2018
People with a certain type of advanced kidney cancer will not be able to have a combination of two immunotherapy drugs on the NHS in England.

New drug seeks receptors in sarcoma cells, attacks tumors in animal trials

December 13, 2018
A new compound that targets a receptor within sarcoma cancer cells shrank tumors and hampered their ability to spread in mice and pigs, a study from researchers at the University of Illinois reports.

Surgery unnecessary for many prostate cancer patients

December 13, 2018
Otherwise healthy men with advanced prostate cancer may benefit greatly from surgery, but many with this diagnosis have no need for it. These conclusions were reached by researchers after following a large group of Scandinavian ...

Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

December 12, 2018
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth—this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel's Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, ...

Combining three treatment strategies may significantly improve melanoma treatment

December 12, 2018
A study by a team led by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigator finds evidence that combining three advanced treatment strategies for malignant melanoma—molecular targeted therapy, immune checkpoint blockade ...

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.