Cancer

Autophagy: Pro or Anti-tumorigenic? And the role of epigenetics in this debate

By Christina Towers, PhD

Novel Insights into Hypoxia Induced AKT Signaling

Hypoxia is a common feature of most tumors and is a product of rapid cell growth and poor vascularization1. When oxygen availability is low in the tumor environment, the hypoxia inducing transcription factors (HIFs) regulate a variety of signaling programs that can affect the balance between tumor cell apoptosis2 and autophagy3.  In normoxia, HIFs are bound by the von Hippel-Lindau protein (VHL) in the cytosol where it is degraded by the proteasome, however, under hypoxia HIFs are translocated to the nucleus where they activate survival signals.

Article Review: Glucose-induced transcriptional regulation in cancer

Epigenetic mechanisms have been implicated in many physiological and pathophysiological processes. Among these, histone modifications including methylation, phosphorylation, acetylation and ubiquitination, significantly modify gene expression.

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is quite common in the U.S., covering more than 4% of all cancers each year, and is most susceptible to individuals between 50 and 60 years of age.  Squamous cells are a type of epithelial cell that are located all over the body with concentrations in the mouth, throat, neck and cervix.  EGFR, or epidermal growth factor receptor, is a trans-membrane glycoprotein that oversees cellular proliferation through its intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity.  When EGFR is bound to its ligand, it is phosphorylated by inner tyrosine kinase activity, where down

Article Review: Ly6E/K Signaling to TGF-beta Promotes Breast Cancer Progression, Immune Escape, and Drug Resistance

Today in breast cancer research, scientists are focused on determining the cause, risk, diagnostic testing options and treatment of this devastating disease.  Of particular interest is identification of potential therapeutic targets that are known to contribute to the progression of breast cancer in order to develop treatments against these specific genes or proteins.  This article review summarizes research completed by AlHossiny et al regarding the role of Ly6E/K signaling and TGF-beta is the progression of cancer, immune escape and subs

The role of p53 in UV radiation DNA damage and subsequent tumorogenesis

p53, the protein product of the tp53 gene, is one of the most widely studied tumor suppressor proteins in cancer research.  p53 is unique in that it demonstrates both tumor suppressive and tumor progressive properties depending on whether it is functional or mutated.  The most common mutation in the p53 protein that leads to lack of tumor suppression activity is a missense mutation, however frameshift or nonsense mutations are also common.  In fact, mutant p53 has exhibited dominant negative inhibition of the wild type version of the protein, demonstrating the fact that the p53 pat

The application of CD31/Pecam-1 (MEC 7.46) in breast cancer research

CD31/PECAM-1, or platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1, is a 130-kDa glycoprotein expressed on vascular and hematopoietic cells.  Depending on the cell type, CD31/PECAM-1 expression can be largely localized to cell junctions, playing a role in cell adhesion.  Aside from its role in cellular adhesion, CD31/PECAM-1 is also a large player in a variety of signaling pathways, such as angiogenesis, cell migration, leukocyte transmigration and more.  Specifically, the association and indication of angiogenesis in breast cancer is of interest, given that extensive research shows an

Altered expression of BCL2 in cancer

Similar to other cell processes, the balance between cell survival and cell death is an important equilibrium that when altered expression of genes can lead to a variety of disease.

The relationship between Ki67 and HIF-1 in cancer

Ki67, also known as MKI67, is best known as the leading marker of cellular proliferation. Ki67 is regulated by a balance between synthesis and degradation, and often carries a very short half-life.  First discovered to be located to dividing cells, Ki67 has since been specifically localized to the G1, S, G2 and M phases of mitosis. Soon after, it was discovered that there was a high correlation of Ki67 alongside the p53 (tumor suppressing protein 53), suggesting an implication in cancer. What’s more, the expression of Ki67 is higher in malignant cells versus control cells.

TIM-3, a critical immune checkpoint in HIV research

CD4+ T-helper cells (Th) are the white blood lymphocytes expressing surface glycoprotein antigen CD4. These T-helper cells play an important role in the adaptive immune system by releasing T cell cytokines that help other immune cells to suppress or regulate immune responses. CD4+ T-helper lymphocytes can be divided into two types (Th1 and Th2) based on their cytokine secretion. Th1 cells are involved in cell-mediated immune response to intracellular pathogens and delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions.

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