HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Natural resistance of pigment cells to sunlight may make deadly skin cancer tough to treat

screen cells, the melanocytes, are continuously bombarded by ultraviolet solar radiation as they generate pigment which protects underlying skin cells. Ordinarily, the melanocytes would become damaged from the radiation and apoptosis may be initiated, unless there were some countervailing force. And there is: During human evolution, melanocytes appear to have acquired at least one such mechanism that neutralizes apoptosis and enables the cells to survive. The main players in this apoptosis-blocking game are MITF and another gene with which it interacts, BCL2.

The MITF gene, dubbed by scientists as the master melanocyte regulator, is found in melanocytes and is critical for their proper development and their long-term survival. In addition MITF is thought to play a key role in production of pigment by these cells. BCL2 is a cell-death suppressor, many of whose actions were discovered by Dana-Farber researcher Stanley J. Korsmeyer, MD.

When either the MITF or BCL2 gene is mutated or missing, the whiskers and fur of mice turn from black to gray or white because melanocytes have died. A mutant MITF gene is involved in a human genetic disorder that causes, among other abnormalities, locks of white hair from birth.

The investigators used microarrays, or DNA chips, to determine what genes are turned on when the MITF gene is active, i.e., what genes are targets of MITF within normal melanocytes. The microarray experiments showed that the protein produced by MITF links up with the BCL2 gene both in normal melanocytes and in melanoma cells, increasing the amount of BCL2 protein being made, and activating cell survival.

McGill and others in the Fisher lab also inhibited the activity of MITF in melanocytes and melanoma cells by infecting them with genetically engineered viruses. When the viruses blocked the action of MITF, the cells died. By the same token, the researchers could artificially rev up the activity of BCL2 in MITF-inhibited melano
'"/>

Contact: Bill Schalaler
william_schaller@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-5357
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
13-Jun-2002


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Natural mineral locks up carbon dioxide
2. Naturalists of the Isthmus of Panama
3. Natural selection at work in genetic variation to taste
4. Natural, man-made mix promises biggest landscape plant growth
5. Natural enemies help scientists untangle tropical forest food webs
6. Natural killer cellers are made, not born
7. Natural selection in a nutshell
8. Natural fat compound may be basis for new class of drugs targeting obesity
9. Natural hormone could reverse heart damage
10. New biography details adventures of Fritz Muller, A Naturalist in Brazil
11. Natural selections fingerprint identified on fruit fly evolution

Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/23/2014)... songbirds are disappearing, and though conservationists are examining several ... acid rain and light pollution, a key piece of ... go once they leave their breeding sites, and what ... To answer this question, a team of researchers out ... connectivity map produced for a songbird, using tracking from ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... have no access to clean drinking water. According to ... from water-related diseases every year. ETH student Jeremy Nussbaumer ... solving this problem. Working with researchers from a group ... Laboratory, the 23-year-old spent a year researching a membrane ... DrinkPure filter unique is that you can screw it ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... This news release is available in German . ... shape and stability to cells, drive metabolic processes and ... into complex three-dimensional shapes. Scientists at the Max Planck ... that proteins can be constructed of similar amino acid ... suggests that the proteins that exist today arose from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):York University researchers use bird 'backpacks' to put wood thrushes migration on the map 2ETH student develops filter for clean water around the world 2Protein evolution follows a modular principle 2
(Date:7/22/2014)... water with ultrasound and they,ll spin around their long ... knows exactly. But researchers at the National Institute of ... fast. At up to 150,000 revolutions per minute, these ... submerged in liquid ever reported. , The discovery of ... they could be used not only for moving around ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... DALLAS , July 22, 2014   ... replacement therapy using natural, bio-identical hormone pellets, today ... , MD to the company.   Dr. Rouzier is ... training physician.      Dr. Rouzier was ... at UCLA and is a board certified emergency ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... Alachua, Fla. (PRWEB) July 22, 2014 ... cyclodextrins for the pharmaceutical, medical device, cosmetics, and other ... Private Placement with a group of qualified private investors ... Pharmacia. , The transaction involved the ... Holdings issued 1,725,000 shares of Common Stock at a ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... Lake, Wisconsin (PRWEB) July 22, 2014 ... be in attendance at the 2014 NCSL International ... Booth #423 will feature CONDEC pressure instrumentation, ... style weights, and the new, customized sets, Essential ... ago to promote cooperative efforts in solving the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast 2Dr. Neal Rouzier Joins BioTE Medical 2Dr. Neal Rouzier Joins BioTE Medical 3CTD Holdings Closes $1.725 Million Private Placement 2CTD Holdings Closes $1.725 Million Private Placement 3Rice Lake Weighing Systems Showcases Metrology Solutions for the 2014 NCSL International Workshop & Symposium 2
Cached News: