Breaking News
December 17, 2017 - Water baths as good as bleach baths for treating eczema
December 17, 2017 - Valley fever cases see sharp increase in November, say UVA experts
December 17, 2017 - New Insight on Killer Fungus Threatening Bats
December 17, 2017 - Early Atherosclerosis Defies ‘Normal’ Cholesterol
December 17, 2017 - CRF1 stress receptor is regulator of mast cell activity during stress
December 17, 2017 - CREST Failed to Dampen Enthusiasm for Carotid Stenting in Elderly
December 17, 2017 - Rising levels of HIV drug resistance
December 17, 2017 - Aging brain’s failure to coordinate deep-sleep brainwaves makes older adults forget
December 17, 2017 - Rural Workers Have Higher Exposures to COPD-Causing Pollutants
December 17, 2017 - Don’t Delay Hip Fracture Surgery. Here’s Why: MedlinePlus Health News
December 17, 2017 - NIH launches HIV prevention trial of long-acting injectable medication in women
December 17, 2017 - Op-Ed: Get Ready for a Tsunami of ECGs
December 17, 2017 - Observation care may save more than thought
December 17, 2017 - Scientists explore effectiveness of action video games to combat dyslexia
December 17, 2017 - Teens Acting Badly? Smog Could Be to Blame
December 17, 2017 - FDA Says ‘Yes’ to Short-Acting Insulin Admelog
December 17, 2017 - Vaping popular among teens; opioid misuse at historic lows
December 17, 2017 - Lower Urinary Symptoms Occur in Almost All Patients with SSc
December 17, 2017 - Genetic mutation in extended Amish family in Indiana protects against aging and increases longevity (Update)
December 16, 2017 - Butler Hospital launches international Alzheimer’s disease prevention study
December 16, 2017 - iMedicalApps: Virtual Reality Boosts Self-Confidence for Med Students
December 16, 2017 - Researchers validate five new genes responsible for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
December 16, 2017 - New genetic analysis of candidiasis reveals surprising fungal sex secrets
December 16, 2017 - New high precision machine-learning model could help accelerate drug discovery
December 16, 2017 - Groundbreaking gene therapy trial brings cure for hemophilia closer
December 16, 2017 - Racial Differences Seen in IgG4 Disease
December 16, 2017 - Treacher Collins Syndrome
December 16, 2017 - New approach to tracking how deadly ‘superbugs’ travel could slow their spread
December 16, 2017 - Muscle paralysis may promote breakdown of bones
December 16, 2017 - WSU scientists create injectable dye to track progression of diseases
December 16, 2017 - Kaiser Permanente delivers clot-busting drugs to stroke patients more than twice as fast as national rates
December 16, 2017 - Some Great Holiday Foods for Weight Loss
December 16, 2017 - Shared Decision-Making Strategies for Lung Ca Screening Get High Marks
December 16, 2017 - Lactic acid bacteria can protect against Influenza A virus, study finds
December 16, 2017 - Cancer immunotherapy’s effectiveness may depend on patient’s genetic makeup
December 16, 2017 - Researchers explore patient-doctor conversations, best practices linked to opioid tapering
December 16, 2017 - ‘Virtual child’ to help professionals learn key techniques to treat children with autism
December 16, 2017 - IU scientists discover way to make drug treatment more successful against malaria
December 16, 2017 - Prostate cancer researchers find significant disparities between two liquid biopsy providers
December 16, 2017 - ED-Diagnosed Lung Ca Patients Worse Off: Clin Onc News Report
December 16, 2017 - Calcium in Urine Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
December 16, 2017 - Pregnancy-related conditions taken together leave moms—and dads—at risk
December 16, 2017 - Research uncovers mechanism implicated in defective function of tumor-associated dendritic cells
December 16, 2017 - OncoBreak: Stubborn Racial Disparities; Paid Medical Leave & Chemo; DIY Gene Tests
December 16, 2017 - Critical link between obesity and diabetes has been identified
December 16, 2017 - Transfusion dependence reduces access to high-quality end-of-life care for leukemia patients
December 16, 2017 - Porvair and Suzhou Tianlong Bio to develop epigenetic analysis technologies
December 16, 2017 - FDA Approves Ixifi (infliximab-qbtx), a Biosimilar to Remicade
December 16, 2017 - Morning Break: Trump to Get Check-Up; Cancerous Transplant; Death Knell for MIPS?
December 16, 2017 - First transcatheter implant for diastolic heart failure successful
December 16, 2017 - ‘Sushi-like’ nanodiscs provide structural snapshots of misfolding proteins
December 16, 2017 - Inherited gene variation may be to blame for poor survival of patients with early-onset breast cancer
December 16, 2017 - Sign-up deadline is Friday, but some people may get extra time
December 16, 2017 - Higher Booze Taxes Might Pay Off for Public Health
December 16, 2017 - Regular Activity in Midlife Spares Joints in Women
December 16, 2017 - Rain May Not Cause Achy Joints After All: MedlinePlus Health News
December 16, 2017 - MedDiet adherence doesn’t affect acute heart failure mortality
December 16, 2017 - HKBU experts develop new generation of smart anti-cancer drug molecules
December 16, 2017 - Chronic Kidney Disease Audit finds wide variations in coding of CKD patients in primary care
December 16, 2017 - Scientists use nanoparticles to fight Mucoviscidosis
December 16, 2017 - Increasing physical activity decreases risk of death from lymphoma
December 16, 2017 - Fear compromises the health, well-being of immigrant families, survey finds
December 16, 2017 - Rejected antibiotic candidate could be worth a second look, research finds
December 16, 2017 - Is Nation on the Right Track to Combat Opioid Crisis?
December 16, 2017 - Arthritis No Longer Just a Disease of the Old: MedlinePlus Health News
December 16, 2017 - Study reveals biology behind why muscle stem cells respond differently to aging or injury
December 16, 2017 - Family members without inherited mutation have increased risk of melanoma
December 16, 2017 - Researchers reveal previously unknown mechanism that inhibits cells’ ability to develop into tumors
December 16, 2017 - Studies highlight potential of fMRI applications to detect, treat epilepsy in children
December 16, 2017 - Active surveillance proposed as first-line approach to manage patients with low-risk PMC of the thyroid
December 16, 2017 - Patients’ life values affect their attendance at medical treatment for pelvic-floor dysfunction
December 16, 2017 - Experts consider hazards of antibiotic resistances to be high
December 16, 2017 - Study finds erectile dysfunction as risk factor for early cardiovascular disease
December 16, 2017 - Amber-tinted glasses may reduce insomnia severity
December 16, 2017 - Arthritis Drug Seen Lowering GvHD Risk
December 16, 2017 - Atoh1, a potential Achilles’ heel of Sonic Hedgehog medulloblastoma
December 15, 2017 - Cornell engineers develop new method to measure vital signs using radio waves
December 15, 2017 - Rutgers studies highlight need for salon clients, workers to protect themselves from health risks
December 15, 2017 - FDA Approves Nucala (mepolizumab) for Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss Syndrome)
December 15, 2017 - Morning Break: CVS Buying Aetna; Uterus Transplant Baby; Your Brain on Drugs, Redux
Study reveals gene linked to metastatic melanoma

Study reveals gene linked to metastatic melanoma

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A study by Craig J. Ceol, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, has revealed a protein active during early embryo development called GDF6 plays a primary role in metastatic melanoma. Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by Dr. Ceol, first author Arvind Venkatesan, a PhD candidate at UMMS, and colleagues, the findings show 80 percent of human melanomas sampled express this protein. They also indicate that an increase in the protein correlated with an increase in melanoma growth and spread.

“Melanoma is an aggressive cancer and the most deadly form of skin cancer,” said Ceol. “Although new therapies have shown effectiveness against melanoma, a majority of patients either do not respond to these therapies or develop resistance. What is so exciting about this discovery is that it opens up a completely new therapeutic target for investigation. None of the current therapies on the market target GDF6 or its pathway. For patients with very aggressive or treatment-resistant forms of this cancer, this is very important; there is great therapeutic potential when you combine a drug targeting GDF6 with current therapeutics.”

In order to locate GDF6, researchers had to narrow down cancer-causing gene candidates from thousands of “copy number” genetic variations in melanoma cells to just a few hundred, because unlike noncancerous cells, cancer cells have large chromosomal areas where thousands of genes are repeated. Most of these play no actual role in the cancer’s progression. A few, however, do. To separate genes that were important in disease progression from those that aren’t, Venkatesan used zebrafish, an animal model that is particularly well-suited to studying melanoma. The lab compared genes in zebrafish with melanoma to genes in human melanomas and found 374 that were altered in both fish and human cells. Further analysis of DNA, RNA and protein expression revealed GDF6 as a potential genetic driver in melanoma.

GDF6 is a part of a class of proteins that are active during embryo development, called “growth differentiation factors.” These proteins work to help cells divide and differentiate into specific cell types.

In melanoma cells, the lab discovered that GDF6 worked to turn off two genes, MITF and SOX9. Together, these genes help cells reach maturity and control cell death. When they are turned off, cancer cells are better able to multiply and survive.

“MITF is a master regulator of cell differentiation in melanocytes, which are the cells that form melanin pigment in the skin,” said Ceol. “By turning off MITF, GDF6 keeps the cells from differentiating. Instead of differentiating, the cells keep dividing. Additionally, GDF6 also represses the expression of SOX9, which helps keep these melanoma cells alive.”

Looking at human melanoma cells, Ceol and Venkatesan found that 80 percent of patient tumors had elevated levels of GDF6 and the level of the protein in a tumor correlated to the aggressiveness of the cancer. Patients with less GDF6 had a lower risk of metastasis and a higher chance of survival. “This is important because it means melanoma cells are dependent on GDF6 for survival,” said Venkatesan. “Without GDF6, melanoma cells do not survive.”

The next step for Ceol and colleagues is to find a way to turn off GDF6 that could potentially be used in a clinical setting. “Because GDF6 is a type of protein that acts outside the cell,it makes it much easier to target therapeutically. We’re already exploring how to use monoclonal antibodies to inhibit GDF6,” he said.

Source:

https://www.umassmed.edu/

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles