HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Chemists unlock secret to activating tumor suppressor gene

Researchers have discovered the way to activate a key anti-cancer signal that goes AWOL in several gynecologic and brain cancers.

Since the late 1990s, researchers have known that a gene called PTEN (short for phosphatase and tensin homolog on chromosome 10) encodes a signaling protein that suppresses tumor growth. What wasn't known, however, was what mechanism activated PTEN. The answer was found by a group of researchers led by University of Illinois at Chicago chemistry professor Wonhwa Cho. They report their findings in the June 9 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The role of PTEN is to counterbalance the action of an enzyme that induces cell growth," said Cho. "Over-activation of the enzyme can lead to cancer. So if you lose a PTEN gene and its cellular activity, the cell goes out of control. It's like a car with an accelerator but without the brakes."

It was generally thought that PTEN was activated by binding to other proteins, giving it a signal to interact with the cell membrane. But Cho said that's not the case.

Cho's group found that PTEN itself can be activated by phosphorylation, or the chemical addition of a phosphate tag.

"We found that the phosphorylation of certain sites of the PTEN protein worked as a switch to completely change its electrostatic property," said Cho. "It switched from being neutral to positively charged, then recognized the opposite charge on the membrane to bind there." Once the bind took hold, the cancer suppression action went to work.

Cho's laboratory used a biophysical technique called surface plasmon resonance analysis and cellular microscopic analysis of green fluorescence protein-labeled PTEN to unlock the secret of its activation. The UIC chemist believes the mechanism described for PTEN is a relatively common way to regulate membrane binding and activation of many cellular proteins involved in cell signaling and membrane traffickin
'"/>

Contact: Paul Francuch
francuch@uic.edu
312-996-3457
University of Illinois at Chicago
10-Jun-2003


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Chemists at four pharmaceutical companies named Heroes for treating childhood conditions
2. Chemists create unusual lariat RNA, a key intermediate in biological splicing
3. American Institute of Chemists names Ralph Hirschmann AIC Gold Medalist
4. Chemists explore the shape of the key that signals cell division in cancer cells
5. Nanoencapsulation: Chemists at TSRI discover a new and simple way of controlling reactions
6. Chemists characterize regulators of zinc intake and export in cells
7. Chemists spin materials to improve magnetic resonance data
8. Chemists describe "zipper teeth" of DNA molecules -- publish results in the journal Nature
9. Chemists report new approach to synthetic fragments of medically important Heparin
10. Chemists hold national meeting August 22-26
11. Chemists hold national meeting August 22-26 in New Orleans

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/6/2017)... , Jan. 5, 2017  SomaLogic announced ... "Digital Life Alliance" established by iCarbonX, the ... to build a "Global Digital Health Ecosystem that ... a combination of individual,s biological, behavioral and psychological ... agreement between the companies, SomaLogic will provide proteomics ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , Dec. 20, 2016  As ... all levels, 23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, recently released ... Only Me . The book focuses on the topics ... the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) taught in elementary school ... the second in a series by illustrator Ariana Killoran ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... , Dec. 16, 2016   IdentyTechSolutions ... Identity management products and solutions and a cutting-edge ... today that it is offering seamless, integrated solutions ... security entrance products. The solutions provide IdentyTech,s customers ... secure their facilities from crime and theft. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire -- WuXi ... device open-access capability and technology platform, today announced ... leading biology focused preclinical drug discovery contract research ... will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of WuXi, and ... competences and providing greater services. The acquisition will ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... November Research ... leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and regulators, is proud to announce the ... 11-compliant email client designed to provide product vigilance departments with the flexibility and ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. (AIM: ABTU; NASDAQ: ... aquaculture and a majority-owned subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: ... the listing of its common shares on the NASDAQ ... "AquaBounty,s listing on NASDAQ represents an important ... to the U.S. markets as we advance plans for ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... FireflySci Inc. is a go-getter ... The tremendous growth is accounted to two main factors. The first is the ... network of vendors supplying FireflySci products all around the world. , 2016 was a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: