Breaking News
August 21, 2018 - Researchers create the world’s first artificial retina
August 21, 2018 - Yale researchers identify racial disparities in prescribing opioids for chronic pain
August 21, 2018 - BOOST-3 clinical trial aims to improve outcomes for severe TBI patients
August 21, 2018 - New study highlights Alzheimer’s herpes link, experts say
August 21, 2018 - Airline crew don’t have significantly elevated risk of thyroid cancer, new study finds
August 21, 2018 - States leverage federal funds to help insurers lower premiums
August 21, 2018 - New badge course explores research around skeletal muscle as an endocrine organ
August 21, 2018 - TG Therapeutics Announces Completion of Target Enrollment in the ULTIMATE Phase 3 Trials in Multiple Sclerosis
August 21, 2018 - Increased levels of human herpesvirus ID’d in Alzheimer’s
August 21, 2018 - To help patients quash pain, researcher develops practical guide for health care providers
August 20, 2018 - Medicine on the front line to be presented at Medical Innovation 2018
August 20, 2018 - Harbour Biomed and Kelun-Biotech collaborate to develop, commercialize anti-PD-L1 antibody
August 20, 2018 - The man who sold America on vitamin D — and profited in the process
August 20, 2018 - Finding the light in antimicrobials
August 20, 2018 - Unique pain program helps surgical patients wean off opioids safely and effectively
August 20, 2018 - Strawberries could mitigate colonic inflammation
August 20, 2018 - FDA Accepts New Drug Application (NDA) to Review Midazolam Nasal Spray, an Investigational Product for the Acute Treatment of Seizure Clusters
August 20, 2018 - Using Facebook to help young adults quit smoking
August 20, 2018 - ‘Liquid biopsy’ predicts lymphoma therapy success within days | News Center
August 20, 2018 - 5 Questions with Jordan Orange, Chair of Pediatrics
August 20, 2018 - New assay may help improve both sarcoma diagnosis and treatment
August 20, 2018 - New information on the brain regions related to metacognition, tactile sense
August 20, 2018 - New class of insect repellents to fight against mosquito-borne diseases
August 20, 2018 - ACA Coverage Gains Include Workers Without Insurance
August 20, 2018 - 3-D printed biomaterials for bone tissue engineering
August 20, 2018 - Current surveillance system does not quickly pick up most listeriosis cases in the EU, study reveals
August 20, 2018 - Prenatal exposure to acute stress can affect cognitive function in children of low-income households
August 20, 2018 - New study examines scope of state policies targeting drug use by pregnant women
August 20, 2018 - Researchers find long-term structural, functional brain abnormalities in individuals with AUDs
August 20, 2018 - Shortage of insurance fraud cops sparks campaign debate
August 20, 2018 - Researchers find STAT3 as therapeutic target for chronic active EBV infection
August 20, 2018 - Health Tip: Keep Diabetic Feet Healthier
August 20, 2018 - FDA approves brain stimulation device for OCD
August 20, 2018 - NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center expands Blood and Marrow Transplant Program
August 20, 2018 - New drug shows potential to prevent painful side effect of therapy
August 20, 2018 - RDMD raises $3 million in seed funding to accelerate rare disease research, drug development
August 20, 2018 - Illicit drug use is higher during celebratory events, may be worse than previously thought
August 20, 2018 - Exploring the relationship between fever and cancer incidence
August 20, 2018 - Study reveals how socioeconomic status affects racial, ethnic disparities in childhood cancer survival
August 20, 2018 - Brain tumors trap immune cells needed to fight cancer in the bone marrow, finds research
August 20, 2018 - Three factors that contribute to physician burnout
August 20, 2018 - Babies dependent on opioids need touch, not tech
August 20, 2018 - Understanding How Antibodies Shape the Gut Microbiome
August 20, 2018 - Cara Therapeutics Doses First Patient in Second Pivotal Phase 3 Efficacy Trial of Korsuva (CR845/difelikefalin) Injection in Hemodialysis Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease-Associated Pruritus
August 20, 2018 - Kidney transplant chains more effective in saving lives
August 20, 2018 - Study unravels cellular and molecular mechanisms behind dermal condensate formation
August 20, 2018 - New integrated gene logic-chips could have great value in medical care
August 20, 2018 - FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Paratek’s Omadacycline
August 20, 2018 - Total, open repairs decline for abdominal aortic aneurysms
August 20, 2018 - Novel system can pinpoint ingestible implants inside the body using wireless signals
August 20, 2018 - Infection rates of high risk oral HPV in England found to be lower than expected
August 20, 2018 - Making robots as valuable and trustworthy assistants for medical therapies
August 20, 2018 - Patients with low-risk blood clots can be better treated at home than at hospital
August 20, 2018 - Passive smoking exposure among kids greatly increases COPD risk late in life
August 20, 2018 - Primary Care Provider Burnout Rate Low in Small Practices
August 20, 2018 - Discovery presents treatment hope for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
August 20, 2018 - Stroke patients appear to receive better care at teaching hospitals with less chance of readmission
August 20, 2018 - Distinct origin of ADHD identified In children with history of traumatic brain injury
August 20, 2018 - AHA: Wildfire Smoke Threatens Health of Those Near and Far
August 20, 2018 - Here’s a mental health workout that’s as simple as ABC
August 20, 2018 - Newly discovered cytoskeleton utilized by cancer cells for survival
August 19, 2018 - Bifidobacteria supplement colonizes gut of breastfed infants
August 19, 2018 - Why patients with Alzheimer’s markers never develop the condition
August 19, 2018 - ACA’s Medicaid expansion associated with increase in prescriptions for opioid use disorder treatment
August 19, 2018 - Important factor may be missing in models used to predict spread of epidemics from climate change
August 19, 2018 - Indian-Americans have fewer sudden infant deaths, study finds
August 19, 2018 - Experts advise against universal genomic screening of newborns
August 19, 2018 - New trial to investigate whether weight loss before conception can make mom and baby healthier
August 19, 2018 - Sun Pharma Announces FDA Approval of Cequa (cyclosporine) Ophthalmic Solution to Treat Dry Eye Disease
August 19, 2018 - Researchers examining Parkinson’s resilience
August 19, 2018 - HPI, INTEGRIS and USPI enter into agreement to offer patients more choice, flexibility of care
August 19, 2018 - Researchers find mechanism that prepares brain to replicate repeated actions
August 19, 2018 - Those who are emotionally stable when young may remain the most stable as they age
August 19, 2018 - URI professor develops simpler and quicker method for detecting impurity in heparin
August 19, 2018 - Mayo Medical Laboratories and NDSC collaborate to develop new patient blood-management solution
August 19, 2018 - Insight into endocrine cancers and treatment options
August 19, 2018 - HPV Legislation Doesn’t Impact Teen Sexual Behaviors
August 19, 2018 - Exenatide treatment alleviated symptoms of depression in patients
August 19, 2018 - Tufts researchers win grant to study integration of genomic sequencing into neonatal care
August 19, 2018 - Novel finger-prick test can help prevent toxoplasmosis
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