Blocking beta1-integrin to treat cancer

Jun 06, 2007

Targeting the function of a protein known as beta1-integrin might represent a novel approach to cancer treatment, according to a paper published online in The EMBO Journal this week. Blocking the action of this protein could help to prevent the formation of metastases by reducing tumour cell proliferation and inducing cell senescence.

Integrins are a family of transmembrane receptors that help maintain tissue integrity by attaching cells to the surrounding extracellular matrix and preventing them from migrating around. These proteins are also important for cell survival and proliferation, and have been shown to contribute to tumour progression in several ways.

Angelika Kren and colleagues investigated transgenic mice with insulinomas – tumours of pancreatic beta cells, which metastasize in pancreas lymph nodes. When the authors blocked beta1-integrin function in these mice, tumour cells started disseminating into lymphatic blood vessels because they were not attached to anything any more. However, the cells did not elicit metastasis and were unable to form tumours – they stopped growing and became senescent.

The authors suggest that the ablation of beta1-integrin function, and the resulting induction of cellular senescence, represent a potential therapeutic goal for the treatment of cancer. Future research should help to identify the molecular players and pathways involved.

Source: European Molecular Biology Organization

Explore further: Survival differences seen for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Form Devices team designs Point as a house sitter

9 hours ago

A Scandinavian team "with an international outlook" and good eye for electronics, software and design aims to reach success with what they characterize as "a softer take" on home security. Their device is ...

Man pleads guilty in New York cybercrime case

12 hours ago

A California man has pleaded guilty in New York City for his role marketing malware that federal authorities say infected more than a half-million computers worldwide.

NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

21 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Scientists have produced a new version of what is perhaps NASA's best view of Jupiter's ice-covered moon, Europa. The mosaic of color images was obtained in the late 1990s by NASA's Galileo ...

Dish restores Turner channels to lineup

21 hours ago

Turner Broadcasting channels such as Cartoon Network and CNN are back on the Dish network after being dropped from the satellite TV provider's lineup during contract talks.

Recommended for you

Survival differences seen for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer

14 hours ago

The five-year survival rate for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer was higher than national levels in a small study at a single academic center performing a high rate of surgical therapy, including a total laryngectomy (removal ...

Gene test aids cancer profile

23 hours ago

The first round of chemotherapy did little to suppress Ron Bose's leukemia. The second round, with 10 times the dose, knocked the proliferating blast cells down, but only by half.

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.