HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS CONFERENCE CALENDAR
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 21, No 09, September 2017 – Infectious Diseases       » Breakthrough in pig-to-human organ transplant       » Silk-based wearable body sensors developed by Tsinghua researchers       » First AI-assisted treatment center in Hefei city       » Breakthrough immunotherapy for Chronic Hepatitis B virus infection       » First in Asia - Launch of multi-centre lung cancer research platform       » NUS establishes additive manufacturing facilities for biomedical applications      
BIOBOARD - AMERICAS
How blind mole rats keep cancer at bay
In blind mole rats, precancerous cells are quickly killed by a “clean sweep” mechanism that not only kills the abnormal cells but neighboring cells, too.

Abnormally growing cells in blind mole rats secrete interferon beta, a suicidal protein that causes the cells to rapidly die.

The finding could eventually lead to new cancer therapies in people, researchers say.

Blind mole rats and naked mole rats—both subterranean rodents with long life spans—are the only mammals known to have never developed cancer. Three years ago, researchers at the University of Rochester determined that a specific gene—p16—makes the cancerous cells in naked mole rats hypersensitive to overcrowding, and stops them from proliferating when too many crowd together.

“We expected blind mole rats to have a similar mechanism for stopping the spread of cancerous cells,” said assistant professor of biology Andrei Seluanov. “Instead, we discovered they’ve evolved their own mechanism.”

As reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Seluanov and Vera Gorbunova, professor of biology, made their discovery by isolating cells from blind mole rats and forcing them to proliferate in culture beyond what occurs in the animal. After dividing approximately 15-20 times, all of the cells in the culture dish died rapidly.

The researchers determined that the rapid death occurred because the cells recognized their pre-cancerous state and began secreting a suicidal protein, called interferon beta. The precancerous cells died by a mechanism which kills both abnormal cells and their neighbors, resulting in a “clean sweep.”

Not only were the cancerous cells killed off, but so were the adjacent cells, which may also be prone to tumorous behavior,” said Seluanov.

“While people don’t use the same cancer-killing mechanism as blind mole rats, we may be able to combat some cancers and prolong life, if we could stimulate the same clean sweep reaction in cancerous human cells,” Gorbunova says.

The research team also included Christopher Hine, Xiao Tian, and Julia Ablaeva in Rochester, Andrei Gudkov at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, and Eviatar Nevo at the University of Haifa in Israel.

The next step is to find out exactly what triggers the secretion of interferon beta after cancerous cells begin proliferating in blind mole rats. Gorbunova believes the anti-cancer mechanism is an adaptation to subterranean life.

“Blind mole rats spend their lives in underground burrows protected from predators,” she says. “Living in this environment, they could perhaps afford to evolve a long lifespan, which includes developing efficient anticancer defenses.”

Source: University of Rochester/Futurity

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Johnson & Johnson Innovation announces winners of the Singapore QuickFire Challenge in collaboration with ETPL and SMART
news Singapore leads the world in progress toward the health Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
news HIMSS AsiaPac17 conference and exhibition returns to address Asia's health IT challenges
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  

Lady Ganga: Nilza'S Story
COLUMNS  
Subscribe to APBN E-Newsletter
Find us under 'Others' option to receive APBN e-newsletters thrice a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2017
January:
Healthcare Focus: LUNGS
February:
War on CANCER
March:
Get to Know TCM
April:
Diabetes: The Big Picture
May:
The Piece of Your Mind - Brain Health/Science
June:
Advocacies in Support of Rare Disease Patients
July:
Food Science & Technology
August:
Eye – the Window to your Soul
September:
Infectious Diseases
October:
No. 1 Killer — Heart Diseases
November:
Diseases threatening our Children
December:
Skin Diseases/Allergic Reactions
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Lim Guan Yu
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2017 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy