Researchers have studied stem cell proteins for years, but Houchen and Anant said they not only found a new cancer protein, but discovered how the protein works to turn off a natural tumor suppressor and turn on a cancer-causing gene.
The results of their research will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Gastroenterology.See also: Scientists Discover How Cancer Protein Works, News release, OU Cancer Institute. Excerpt:
The latest work involves a new stem cell protein. Houchen and Anant discovered that this protein was responsible for regulating a natural tumor suppressor. It is the first such evidence of a stem cell protein regulating a tumor suppressor. When the protein, which is found in cancer, was increased, it caused the tumor suppressor to go down and the tumor grew in research models. When the protein was reduced or "knocked down," the level of tumor suppressor went up and the tumor stopped growing. Scientists also found that when they stopped the protein, the expression of a cancer-causing gene also went down.The relevant publication is: Selective Blockade of DCAMKL-1 Results in Tumor Growth Arrest by a Let-7a MicroRNA-Dependent Mechanism by Sripathi M Sureban and 6 co-authors, including Shrikant Anant and Courtney W Houchen, Gastroenterology 2009(May 12) [PubMed Citation].
Another related publication from this group: Identification of a novel putative gastrointestinal stem cell and adenoma stem cell marker, doublecortin and CaM kinase-like-1, following radiation injury and in adenomatous polyposis coli/multiple intestinal neoplasia mice by Randal May and 5 co-authors, Stem Cells 2008(Mar); 26(3): 630-7 [Epub 2007 Nov 29]. [PubMed Citation][Full text is publicly accessible (via Gratis OA)].