Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Newsletter
Zones
Analysis, Inspection and Laboratory
LeftNav
Assisted/Independent Living
LeftNav
Clinical and Nursing Equipment
LeftNav
Design and Manufacture of Medical Equipment
LeftNav
Diagnostics Equipment, Monitoring and Test
LeftNav
Education, Training and Professional Services
LeftNav
Health Education and Patient Management
LeftNav
Health Estates Management
LeftNav
Healthcare Support and Information Services
LeftNav
Hygiene and Infection Control
LeftNav
IT and Communications in Healthcare
LeftNav
Materials
LeftNav
Medical Device Technology
LeftNav
Research and Development
LeftNav
Safety and Security
LeftNav
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Health Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
Pro Engineering Zone
 
 
News

St Jude researchers discovers signalling system that halts childhood brain cancer growth

St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital : 17 March, 2008  (Company News)
St Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered a safer way to treat medulloblastoma, a rare but often-fatal childhood brain tumour.
The group found that one of the brain's signalling pathways inhibits the growth of the highly aggressive cancer cells.

The researchers discovered that three proteins, designated BMP2, BMP4 and BMP7, halted the growth of medulloblastoma tumours and induced the malignant cells to develop into normal neurons.

'We think we have identified a pathway that can be used to prevent tumour formation and a potential target for therapy,' said Martine F Roussel, PhD, a member of the St Jude Department of Genetics and Tumour Cell Biology. A report on this work appears in the March 15 issue of ‘Genes and Development’. Roussel is the paper's senior author.

Several research teams are seeking to decipher the intricate signalling mechanisms that govern the proliferation of cells called granule neuron progenitors (GNPs). These cells go on to develop into neurons in the cerebellum during the first year of life. But the disruption of this differentiation process can trigger medulloblastoma.

Previous research had shown that spurring GNPs to differentiate into neurons requires that BMPs bind to a set of receptors on the cell surface. The binding results in blocking the activity of a signalling pathway triggered by another molecule called Sonic hedgehog.

'What was not known, and what we now find, is that the effect of BMPs on normal GNP cells is almost exactly mimicked in GNP-like tumour cells,' Roussel said.

In cell culture experiments, her group found that BMPs rapidly cause the degradation of a protein called Math1, which occurs in dividing GNPs, but not in non-proliferating neurons. Twelve hours after BMP treatment, researchers could detect no Math1 and cell growth soon stopped.

The exact way Math1 works remains unknown. However, in mice the protein is vital to the formation of a normal brain. Mice genetically altered so they do not carry the gene for Math1 failed to develop cerebella.

The St Jude team also performed gene transfer experiments in mice to test BMPs as a possible medulloblastoma treatment. Using a genetically altered virus, scientists inserted the BMP gene into the cancer cells and showed that the transfer not only halted tumor growth, but induced the cancer cells to change into neurons.

Other authors of this study include Haotian Zhao, Olivier Ayrault and Frederique Zindy (St Jude) and Jee-Hae Kim (Rockefeller University, New York).

The research work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, a Cancer Core Grant, La Fondation pour la Recherche Medicale, the Gephardt Endowed Fellowship Signal Transduction and ALSAC.
Bookmark and Share
 
Home I Editor's Blog I News by Zone I News by Date I News by Category I Special Reports I Directory I Events I Advertise I Submit Your News I About Us I Guides
 
   Â© 2012 ProHealthServiceZone.com
Netgains Logo