Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
PZ HTL SA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Visualizing How Cancer Chromosome Abnormalities Form in Living Cells

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 20 Aug 2013
Image: In new research, scientists have directly observed events that lead to formation of a chromosome abnormality that is often found in cancer cells (Photo courtesy of National Cancer Institute [NCI] at NIH).
Image: In new research, scientists have directly observed events that lead to formation of a chromosome abnormality that is often found in cancer cells (Photo courtesy of National Cancer Institute [NCI] at NIH).
Scientists have for the first time directly observed events that lead to the formation of a chromosome abnormality that is frequently found in cancer cells. The abnormality, called a translocation, occurs when part of a chromosome breaks off and then binds to another chromosome.

The study’s findings, conducted by scientists at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI; Bethesda, MD, USA), part of the National Institutes of Health, were published August 9, 2013, in the journal Science. 

Chromosome translocations have been found in almost all cancer cells, and it has long been known that translocations can play a role in cancer development. However, spite of intensive of research, just precisely how translocations form in a cell has remained elusive. To better determine this process, the researchers created a research system in which they induced, in a controlled way, breaks in the DNA of different chromosomes in living cells. Using cutting-edge imaging technology, they were then able to see when the broken ends of the chromosomes were reattached correctly or incorrectly inside the cells.

Translocations are very rare occurrences, and the investigators’ ability to visualize these events in real time was made possible bya recently developed technology that is being used at the NCI that enables investigators to visualize alterations in thousands of cells over a long time. “Our ability to see this fundamental process in cancer formation was possible only because of access to revolutionary imaging technology,” said the study’s senior author, Tom Misteli, PhD, Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, Center for Cancer Research, NCI.

The scientists involved with this study were able to demonstrate that translocations can occur within hours of DNA breaks and that their formation is independent of when the breaks happen during the cell division cycle. Cells have intrinsic mending mechanisms that can fix most DNA breaks, but translocations at times still occur.

To additionally examine the role of DNA repair in translocation formation, the researchers curbed vital pieces of the DNA damage response processes within cells and monitored the effects on the repair of DNA breaks and translocation formation. They discovered that suppression of one element of DNA damage response processes, a protein called DNAPK-kinase, increased the occurrence of translocations almost 10-fold. The scientists also determined that translocations formed preferentially between prepositioned genes.

“These observations have allowed us to formulate a time and space framework for elucidating the mechanisms involved in the formation of chromosome translocations,” said Vassilis Roukos, PhD, NCI, and lead scientist of the study. “We can now finally begin to really probe how these fundamental features of cancer cells form.”

Related Links:
US National Cancer Institute


comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel

New Program Encourages Wide Distribution of Genomic Data

A new data sharing program allows genomics researchers and practitioners to analyze, visualize, and share raw sequence data for individual patients or across populations straight from a local browser. The sequencing revolution is providing the raw data required to identify the genetic variants underlying rare diseases... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: The nano-cocoon drug delivery system is biocompatible, specifically targets cancer cells, can carry a large drug load, and releases the drugs very quickly once inside the cancer cell. Ligands on the surface of the \"cocoon\" trick cancer cells into consuming it. Enzymes (the “worms\" in this image) inside the cocoon are unleashed once inside the cell, destroying the cocoon and releasing anticancer drugs into the cell (Photo courtesy of Dr. Zhen Gu, North Carolina State University).

Novel Anticancer Drug Delivery System Utilizes DNA-Based Nanocapsules

A novel DNA-based drug delivery system minimizes damage to normal tissues by utilizing the acidic microenvironment inside cancer cells to trigger the directed release of the anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX).... Read more

Business

view channel

Interest in Commercial Applications for Proteomics Continues to Grow

Increasing interest in the field of proteomics has led to a series of agreements between private proteomic companies and academic institutions as well as deals between pharmaceutical companies and novel proteomics innovator biotech companies. Proteomics is the study of the structure and function of proteins.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.