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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , ... server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune ... already secured over 15 million users across the financial ... connected home product suites and physical access represent a ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market to ... AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein recognition, ... industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, health ... and by region ( North America , ... , and the Rest of the World) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... At its national board ... Stubbs, a professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected ... member of the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... , ... October 09, 2017 ... ... on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® ... gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the ... and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... The HealthTech Venture Network (HTVN) ... their fourth annual Conference where founders, investors, innovative practitioners and collaborators are invited ... competition showcasing early stage digital health and med tech companies. , This day-long ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: