Seqanswers Leaderboard Ad

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pancreatic Cancer Growth Amplified by "Super-Enhancer" Mechanism

    Pancreatic cancers are among the most challenging and lethal types of tumors. For years, a comprehensive understanding of their growth dynamics and effective drug therapy have remained elusive. Now, Salk Institute's latest research presents a significant step forward in this direction.

    Recently published in Nature Communications, Salk scientists elucidated the role of a certain "super-enhancer" in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most prevalent type of pancreatic cancer. This super-enhancer, when activated, stimulates a range of genes leading to uncontrolled growth in pancreatic cancer. Importantly, the research team also found that a new experimental drug could inhibit this growth by counteracting the super-enhancer's effects.

    Highlighting the significance of the discovery, Professor Ronald Evans, director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory, said, “The discovery of this super-enhancer gives us both basic insight into PDAC and a new way to think of therapies.”

    Enhancers are specific DNA regions that amplify the expression of genes. This amplification results in increased production of corresponding proteins. Super-enhancers, being highly active enhancers, can initiate a potent activation of numerous genes. This can lead to rapid cellular changes, such as accelerated growth.

    In this study, the team led by Evans studied 16 human pancreatic cancer cell lines. They identified several super-enhancers, but one associated with the hnRNPF gene stood out due to its heightened activity in cancer cells compared to healthy cells. Subsequent experiments illustrated how the activation of hnRNPF initiated a series of cellular responses, amplifying the overall protein production in cells.

    Corina Antal, who spearheaded the study, noted, “It’s well-established that cancer cells upregulate protein production in order to fuel their rapid growth. We have now identified how cells regulate this process at the super-enhancer level.”

    Further experiments showed that removing the super-enhancer or the hnRNPF gene in cell lines could decelerate pancreatic cancer cell growth by a remarkable 80%. Additionally, an experimental drug aimed at Prmt1—a protein influenced by hnRNPF activation—proved effective in inhibiting pancreatic tumor growth both in lab settings and in mice.

    Emphasizing the potential of this discovery, Michael Downes, a senior scientist at Salk, commented, “We were excited to find that there’s not a lot of redundancy in this super-enhancer pathway, which means there might be multiple ways to impact it with therapeutics. If you disrupt this network at any point, you have the same effect on blocking cellular growth.”

    Another pivotal finding was the role of the Myc gene, which is associated with numerous cancers, including pancreatic. This gene can stimulate the hnRNPF super-enhancer. Historically, effective drugs counteracting Myc have been hard to come by. However, these findings hint at an alternative approach: targeting the super-enhancer-induced pathway.

    Moreover, the team found that the hnRNPF super-enhancer was active in cells from a pancreatic cancer patient. Professor Evans added, “These results clearly demonstrate that this super-enhancer is relevant in humans and could even be used as a marker to monitor pancreatic cancer progression.”

    The research opens the door for further investigations to determine if drugs targeting this super-enhancer could be a viable treatment for pancreatic cancer patients.

Latest Articles

Collapse

  • seqadmin
    Exploring the Dynamics of the Tumor Microenvironment
    by seqadmin




    The complexity of cancer is clearly demonstrated in the diverse ecosystem of the tumor microenvironment (TME). The TME is made up of numerous cell types and its development begins with the changes that happen during oncogenesis. “Genomic mutations, copy number changes, epigenetic alterations, and alternative gene expression occur to varying degrees within the affected tumor cells,” explained Andrea O’Hara, Ph.D., Strategic Technical Specialist at Azenta. “As...
    07-08-2024, 03:19 PM
  • seqadmin
    Exploring Human Diversity Through Large-Scale Omics
    by seqadmin


    In 2003, researchers from the Human Genome Project (HGP) announced the most comprehensive genome to date1. Although the genome wasn’t fully completed until nearly 20 years later2, numerous large-scale projects, such as the International HapMap Project and 1000 Genomes Project, continued the HGP's work, capturing extensive variation and genomic diversity within humans. Recently, newer initiatives have significantly increased in scale and expanded beyond genomics, offering a more detailed...
    06-25-2024, 06:43 AM

ad_right_rmr

Collapse

News

Collapse

Topics Statistics Last Post
Started by seqadmin, 07-10-2024, 07:30 AM
0 responses
25 views
0 likes
Last Post seqadmin  
Started by seqadmin, 07-03-2024, 09:45 AM
0 responses
201 views
0 likes
Last Post seqadmin  
Started by seqadmin, 07-03-2024, 08:54 AM
0 responses
211 views
0 likes
Last Post seqadmin  
Started by seqadmin, 07-02-2024, 03:00 PM
0 responses
193 views
0 likes
Last Post seqadmin  
Working...
X