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: Overweight linked to 500,000 cancer cases per year

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Form Devices team designs Point as a house sitter

18 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

21 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.

Recommended for you

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.