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

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


Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: The TheraCyte cell encapsulation device (Photo courtesy of TheraCyte, Inc.).

Encapsulated Human-Insulin-Producing Progenitor Cells Cure Diabetes in Mouse Model

A breakthrough system that allows subcutaneous implantation of encapsulated immature pancreatic cells (beta progenitor cells) was shown to produce enough insulin to correct the symptoms of diabetes in a mouse model.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Chitosan is derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceans, including Alaskan pink shrimp, pictured here (Photo courtesy of NOAA - [US] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Chitosan Treatment Clears the Way for Antibiotics to Eliminate Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Recurrent urinary tract infection was successfully resolved in a mouse model by treatment with the exfoliant chitosan followed by a round of antibiotics. Bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI), most... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Mitochondrial Cause of Aging Can Be Reversed

Researchers have found a cause of aging in lab animals that can be reversed, possibly providing an avenue for new treatments for age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, muscle wasting, and inflammatory diseases. The researchers plan to begin human trials late 2014. The study, which was published December... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients. Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may... Read more

Business

view channel

Analytical Sciences Trade Fair Declared a Rousing Success

Organizers of this year's 24th "analytica" biosciences trade fair have reported significant increases in both the number of visitors and exhibitors compared to the 2012 event. The analytica trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, and biotechnology has been held at the Munich (Germany) Trade Fair Center every... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.