Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
PURITAN MEDICAL
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

New Mole Rat Cancer Resistance Pathway Discovered

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 12 Nov 2012
Image: A blind mole rat shown on the background of dying necrotic blind mole rat tissue culture cells (Photo courtesy of University of Rochester).
Image: A blind mole rat shown on the background of dying necrotic blind mole rat tissue culture cells (Photo courtesy of University of Rochester).
In a study of a species of mole rats, biologists have identified a cancer resistance mechanism different from another long-lived, cancer-resistant mole rat species discovered earlier.

The researchers, led by Professor Vera Gorbunova and Assistant Professor Andrei Seluanov of the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY, USA), found that abnormally growing cells from blind mole rats secrete interferon-beta (IFN-β) that triggers those and neighboring cells to rapidly die. Blind mole rats (BMR) from the Middle East and naked mole rats from Africa, both subterranean rodents with long life spans, are the only examined mammals never known to naturally develop cancer and in which spontaneous tumors have never been observed. Previously, a team led by Profs. Seluanov and Gorbunova identified an anticancer mechanism in the naked mole rat in which the p16 gene causes cancerous cells from these rats to become hypersensitive to overcrowding, preventing them from proliferating further. "We expected blind mole rats to have a similar mechanism [...]. Instead, we discovered they've evolved their own mechanism," said Prof. Seluanov.

In the current study, growth of BMR fibroblast cells in vitro, from the BMR species Spalax judaei and Spalax golani, were examined. The cells were made to actively proliferate for an abnormally large number of population doublings, after which the precancerous-like cells began secreting IFN-β and the cultures underwent massive, concerted necrotic cell death within 3 days. The necrotic cell death phenomenon was independent of culture conditions or telomere shortening. Sequestration of p53 and Rb proteins using SV40 large T antigen completely rescued necrotic cell death. The results suggest that cancer resistance in BMR is conferred by massive necrotic response to overproliferation mediated by p53 and Rb pathways, and triggered by the release of IFN-β.

"Not only were the cancerous cells killed off, but so were the adjacent cells, which may also be prone to tumorous behavior," said Prof. Seluanov. "While people don't use the same cancer-killing mechanism as blind mole rats, we may be able to combat some cancers and prolong life if we could stimulate the same clean sweep reaction in cancerous human cells," said Prof. Gorbunova. Profs. Gorbunova and Seluanov added that next they want to determine what initiates this suicidal secretion of IFN-β.

The study was published online ahead of print November 5, 2012, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Related Links:
University of Rochester


Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Researchers have generated disease-free stem cells from patients with mitochondrial disease that can be converted into any cell type including neuronal progenitors (left) or heart cells (right). These could potentially be used for future transplantation into patients (Photo courtesy of Salk Institute of Biological Studies).

Methods Developed to Generate Normal Stem Cells from Patients with Mitochondrial Defects

A recent paper described two methods for converting cells from patients with mitochondrial defects into normal pluripotent stem cells that could be induced to differentiate into several different types of tissues.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: A new micelle delivery system for the protective polyphenols resveratrol and quercetin (mRQ) may have value in cancer chemotherapy (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University).

Micelles Containing Resveratrol and Quercetin Reverse Doxorubicin Cardiotoxicity

Cancer researchers blocked the toxic effects of the cancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) by administering it together with the plant antioxidants resveratrol and quercetin. Although in use for more than 40... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: The Leica DM2500 LED Microscope for clinical laboratories and research applications (Photo courtesy of Leica Microsystems).

New LED Microscope Completes Line of Clinical and Research Tools

A popular microscope used for both clinical and research applications is now available with LED illumination. The Leica (Wetzlar, Germany) DM2500 and DM2500 LED microscopes represent a class of tools... Read more

Business

view channel

Teva Buys Allergan Generic Business Unit

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (Petah Tikva, Israel) has bought the Allergan (Irvine, CA, USA) generic drugs business for USD 40.5 billion in cash and stock, solidifying its position as the world's largest generic drug maker. Under the terms of the agreement, Teva will pay USD 33.75 billion in cash and USD 6.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.