Human C-reactive protein regulates myeloma tumor cell growth and survival

Sep 10, 2007

Scientists report that a protein best known as a common marker of inflammation plays a key role in the progression of human cancer. The research, published by Cell Press in the September issue of the journal Cancer Cell, implicates C-reactive protein (CRP) as a potential target for cancer treatment.

CRP is a protein that is made in the liver and secreted systemically during the process of inflammation in response to the inflammatory cytokine IL-6. The blood level of CRP is elevated in patients with infections, inflammatory diseases, some cardiovascular diseases, and malignancies including multiple myeloma (MM). Dr. Qing Yi and Dr. Jing Yang from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and colleagues designed a series of studies to investigate whether human CRP might influence the growth and survival of MM tumor cells.

The researchers found that addition of CRP to cell cultures at levels observed in patients with MM promoted myeloma cell proliferation and protected myeloma cells from chemotherapy-induced apoptosis and apoptosis induced by IL-6 withdrawal. The protective influence of CRP was also validated in a mouse model of myeloma.

The researchers went on to investigate the cell signaling pathways underlying CRP-mediated protection of myeloma cells. They demonstrated that CRP enhanced secretion of IL-6; binds activating Fcg receptors; activates PI3K/Akt, ERK, and NF-kB pathways; and inhibits caspase cascade activation induced by chemotherapy drugs. Further, CRP was shown to synergize with IL-6 in protecting myeloma cells from apoptosis.

These results provide strong evidence that CRP is not just a marker for MM but is a critical regulator of myeloma cell survival. “CRP protects myeloma cells from apoptosis induced by chemotherapy drugs and stimulates myeloma cells to secrets more IL-6, which in turn provides additional protection to myeloma from apoptosis and stimulates liver cells to secrete more CRP. Thus, CRP could be a therapeutic target for breaking the vicious circle of myeloma to improve the therapeutic efficacy of currently available treatments,” explains Dr. Yi.

Source: Cell Press

Explore further: Microfluidic cell-squeezing device opens new possibilities for cell-based vaccines

Related Stories

Probing iron chemistry in the deep mantle

11 hours ago

Carbonates are a group of minerals that contain the carbonate ion (CO32-) and a metal, such as iron or magnesium. Carbonates are important constituents of marine sediments and are heavily involved in the ...

Best hope for California drought: El Nino pattern next year

12 hours ago

This week's wet storm isn't expected to provide much, if any, relief from California's historic drought. But there is hope for a serious drenching next year in the form of El Nino, a tropical weather pattern over the Pacific ...

Image: Little Bobtail Lake fire in British Columbia

12 hours ago

The MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite captured this image of the Little Bobtail Lake fire in British Columbia, Canada. It is unclear how the fire started and was first spotted on Saturday, May 9. Since ...

Grazing fish can help save imperiled coral reefs

13 hours ago

Grazing fish can help save coral reefs, but not all grazers are created equal, according to a Florida International University study published in Marine Ecology Progress Series. ...

Maine, packed with moose, didn't have so many ticks

13 hours ago

Maine's state animal—the moose—fared better with potentially deadly ticks this past winter than in previous years, but the herd remains imperiled by the parasites in northern New England and beyond, wildlife biologists ...

Recommended for you

Using healthy skin to identify cancer's origins

19 hours ago

Normal skin contains an unexpectedly high number of cancer-associated mutations, according to a study published in Science. The findings illuminate the first steps cells take towards becoming a cancer and de ...

Gender differences in receipt of end-of-life care

20 hours ago

(HealthDay)—There are gender differences in receipt of end-of-life (EoL) care among terminally ill cancer patients, with male patients more likely to receive intensive care unit (ICU) care, according to ...

Scientists unveil prostate cancer's 'Rosetta Stone'

21 hours ago

Almost 90 per cent of men with advanced prostate cancer carry genetic mutations in their tumours that could be targeted by either existing or new cancer drugs, a landmark new study reveals.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.