Navigation Links
Molecular battle in cancer cells offers clues for treatment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Scientists around the world have been hot on the trail of a genetic mutation closely associated with some brain cancers and leukemia since the mutation's discovery in 2008. The hunt is now yielding fruit. In the Jan. 18, 2011 issue of Cancer Cell, researchers reveal how the mutation contributes to cancer development and suggest potential ways to counter its effects.

About 75 percent of people with low-grade brain tumors and 20 percent of people with acute myeloid leukemia have a mutated version of a gene known as IDH. IDH helps cells metabolize, or eat, food. "We now know that IDH represents the most frequently mutated metabolic gene in human cancer. And that changes the landscape of cancer research in metabolism quite a lot," said Yue Xiong, PhD, William R. Kenan Jr. professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Xiong and collaborators at UNC, the University of California San Diego, and the Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University in China discovered that the IDH mutation sets off a battle inside cells between two metabolites, small molecules produced by metabolic enzymes. On the good sidethe side that leads to normal cell growthis a molecule called ?-KG. On the bad sidethe side that leads to canceris a molecule called 2-HG.

The researchers discovered that cells with the IDH mutation produce less ?-KG and more 2-HG than normal cells. 2-HG then outcompetes ?-KG, disabling a whole family of enzymes that depend on ?-KG to do their jobs in the cell. Normal cell functions break down, contributing to the development of cancer.

Two of the affected enzymes are also involved in controlling gene expression, so if 2-HG wins the battle, it can also activate other genes that lead to cancer growth.

Bolstering ?-KG to help fight 2-HG could offer a new treatment option for patients with the mutation. "?-KG is a natural product of the body. So we know we can survive it, we know it's not toxic. That gives us a window of opportunity," said Xiong.

"In terms of future therapeutic interventions for IDH-mutated tumors, there are two directions we could go," Xiong said. "One is developing a drug that inhibits the ability of the mutant enzyme from producing 2-HG. Another is to somehow provide ?-KG back to the patients with mutated IDH to battle 2-HG."

Such therapies would help only those cancer patients with IDH mutations. "We no longer believe there will be a single silver bullet, a drug to treat and cure all types of cancers," Xiong said. "Instead, we are looking into the therapeutic treatment of individual types of cancer. Therefore, a specific agent that is targeting a very specific event such as tumor with mutated IDH now becomes much more valuable."

In 2010, more than 13,000 people died from brain and other nervous system cancers, and more than 20,000 died from leukemia. A drug that helps even a portion of patients with these cancers can still affect a lot of people, said Xiong.


Contact: Les Lang
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Molecular pathways linked to sex, age affect outcomes in lung cancer
2. SNMs Conjoint Mid-Winter Meetings continue to advance molecular imaging
3. Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway for Organ Tissue Regeneration and Repair
4. The Association for Molecular Pathology celebrates ruling in DNA patent case
5. USC researchers discover new molecular subtype of brain cancer
6. Molecular discovery points to new therapies for brain tumors
7. Molecular marker could help spot pancreatic cancer early
8. News from Molecular Medicine
9. Scientists discover the molecular heart of collective behavior
10. Salt Lake City proclaims Molecular Imaging Days during SNMs Annual Meeting in June
11. Acupunctures molecular effects pinned down
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Molecular battle in cancer cells offers clues for treatment
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of indulgence ... high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the bar ... from reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 ... by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of ... honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... up with the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive ... care to seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality (Filler, ... Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to reach USD 8.1 ... the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Capricor ... ), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, ... that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne ... exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects ... third quarter of 2016, and to report top ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship ... The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... to let type 1 diabetes stand in the way ... Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: