About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Scientists Find Association Between Stem Cell Regulation and Cancer

by Sheela Philomena on August 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Font : A-A+

 Scientists Find Association Between Stem Cell Regulation and Cancer

A link between self-renewal mechanism in embryonic stem cells and cancer has been identified by Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers.

The findings promote the understanding of the self-renewal mechanism in embryonic stem cells and provide insight into the role of Aurka, an oncoprotein that is amplified in several human cancers. The research is published in the August 3rd issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Advertisement

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and, more recently, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great promise for biomedicine as a major source of differentiated cells for developing new ways to study disease etiology, the development of more effective drugs and diagnostic methodologies, and for future transplantation-based therapies. Cancer cells and ESCs can both proliferate indefinitely and show some similarities.

The researchers, a team at Mount Sinai School of Medicine led by Ihor Lemischka, PhD, Director of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, in collaboration with groups at the University of Manchester and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, applied a functional genomics strategy and identified the protein kinase Aurora A (Aurka) as an essential component of ESC function.
Advertisement

These studies showed that Aurka functions by inactivating the well-known tumor suppressor gene p53. The p53 protein acts as the "guardian of the genome" and mutations as well as deletions of the p53 gene are associated with a wide range of tumors.

In the absence of Aurka, up-regulated p53 signaling causes ESCs to differentiate and thus lose their stem cell state. By connecting the loss of Aurka to re-activation of p53 it was shown that Aurka adds a phosphate group (a process called phosphorylation) to a single amino acid in p53, thus shifting ESCs from a differentiation-prone state to self-renewal.

"These studies are exciting not only from a basic science point-of-view, but also because they suggest that stem cell research may impact the development of novel treatments for cancer. Conversely, cancer research may facilitate the realization of the biomedical potential of stem cells," said Dr. Lemischka.

Interestingly, in contrast to the low p53 levels in mature cells, this protein is highly expressed in ESCs and iPSCs. In addition, p53 has a limited role in promoting apoptosis - the process of programmed cell death - and cell cycle inhibition in pluripotent cells. The present findings provide a possible explanation to an unsolved mystery.

The study will aid in developing future cancer therapies and support the science underlying multiple clinical trials using Aurka inhibitors that are currently used to treat cancers.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Organ Donation Week 2022 - 'Take the Pledge to Save Lives'
Test your Knowledge on Heart Transplantation
Test Your Knowledge on Lung Transplantation
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Stem Cells - Cord Blood Stem Cells - Fundamentals Cancer and Homeopathy Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Genetics and Stem Cells Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Bone Marrow Transplantation Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine 

Most Popular on Medindia

How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips The Essence of Yoga Find a Hospital Find a Doctor Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Post-Nasal Drip Drug Interaction Checker Blood Pressure Calculator Indian Medical Journals Blood Donation - Recipients
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use