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:4/19/2017)... 2017 The global military biometrics ... marked by the presence of several large global players. ... five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS ... nearly 61% of the global military biometric market in ... global military biometrics market boast global presence, which has ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... and secure authentication solutions, today announced that it ... Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop ... Thor program. "Innovation has been a ... IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to innovate ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute ... Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital ... 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning ... human stem cell lines and a growing suite of ... platform for these and future publicly available resources created ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... Center’s FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the ... for Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee ... honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied ... the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses ... EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... 06, 2017 , ... On Tuesday, October 24th, ABC² (Accelerate ... first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The featured speaker will be Dr. ... open to the public, but registration is required. , WHAT: ABC² Brain ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: