idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Nachrichten, Termine, Experten

Grafik: idw-Logo
Medienpartner:
WJ2014


Share on: 
04/02/2012 17:55

New research could stop tumour cells from spreading

Helena Aaberg Information Office
University of Gothenburg

    Researchers from the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg have managed for the first time to obtain detailed information about the role of the protein metastasin in the spread of tumour cells. Published recently in the renowned Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study paves the way for the development of new drugs.

    Metastasin is a protein with a key role in the spread of tumour cells.
    Previous research has shown that it is activated through the binding of calcium ions and then binds to and modulates other proteins.

    Increases the spread of tumour cells
    One of metastasin’s binding partners is a motor protein called non-muscle myosin. Motor proteins are the driving force behind cell mobility. By binding to this protein, metastasin can increase the spread of tumour cells, acting as a kind of gas pedal for the cancer engine.

    “Using a method called X-ray crystallography, we have managed for the first time to obtain detailed information on how metastasin binds to a motor protein, a process that facilitates the spread of tumour cells,” explains researcher Gergely Katona.

    Detailed picture
    It has been possible to image metastasin and calcium-ion-bound metastasin using X-ray crystallography before, but the researchers at the University of Gothenburg are the first to have imaged the structure of calcium-ion-activated metastasin with an attached non-muscle myosin fragment.

    “This has given us information about regions of both metastasin and the motor protein that are crucial for metastasin’s ability to bind to the motor protein. This is important to know for drugs to be developed that block these specific regions and so prevent this binding.”

    The image of the two molecules gives us a better understanding of how metastasin binds to the motor protein, so increasing cell mobility and the spread of tumour cells. This understanding in turn paves the way for the development of new drugs to prevent this harmful interaction between molecules and so stop tumour cells from spreading.

    “The metastasin and the motor protein can be imaged as a snapshot, but the next stage is to create a kind of video to see how the molecules move when binding to one another,” explains Katona.

    Gergely Katona is a researcher at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg.

    Bibliographic data:
    Journal: PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    Title: Crystal structure of the S100A4–nonmuscle myosin IIA tail fragment complex reveals an asymmetric target binding mechanism
    Authors: Bence Kiss, Annette Duelli, László Radnai, Katalin A. Kékesi, Gergely Katona, and László Nyitray

    For more information, please contact: Gergely Katona
    Telephone: +46 (0)31 786 3959
    E-mail: gergely.katona@chem.gu.se


    more information:

    http://www.science.gu.se/aktuellt/nyheter/Nyheter+Detalj//-ny-forskning-kan-forh...


    Criteria of this press release:
    Journalists, Scientists and scholars, Students, Teachers and pupils, all interested persons
    Biology, Medicine
    transregional, national
    Research projects, Research results
    English


    Gergely Katona


    For download

    x

    Help

    Search / advanced search of the idw archives
    Combination of search terms

    You can combine search terms with and, or and/or not, e.g. Philo not logy.

    Brackets

    You can use brackets to separate combinations from each other, e.g. (Philo not logy) or (Psycho and logy).

    Phrases

    Coherent groups of words will be located as complete phrases if you put them into quotation marks, e.g. “Federal Republic of Germany”.

    Selection criteria

    You can also use the advanced search without entering search terms. It will then follow the criteria you have selected (e.g. country or subject area).

    If you have not selected any criteria in a given category, the entire category will be searched (e.g. all subject areas or all countries).