An international team of researchers Professor Michael Hall of the University of Basel has discovered a new anticancer protein, LHPP. It prevents uncontrolled proliferation of tumor cells in the liver. The results of the work of scientists published in the magazine «Nature».
The number of cases of liver cancer known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is growing steadily. Only in Switzerland over the past twenty years, it has increased by 100%. Hepatocellular carcinoma is generally diagnosed at a late stage, when the liver is severely damaged, and therefore, the patient has a poor prognosis. Identification of the protein as a biomarker LHPP may improve patient outcomes.
New anti-cancer protein LHPP
Liver tumors develop from mutated cells which differ in uncontrolled growth and proliferation. Anticancer proteins (oopuholevye suppressors) prevent uncontrolled cell growth. As a rule, these suppressors have defects in cancer cells.
In the new study, scientists have deduced a mouse model of hepatocellular carcinoma by activating mTOR signaling transfer. They analyzed a total of over 4000 proteins by comparing their number in healthy and tumor tissue.
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown anticancer protein LHPP. They demonstrated that the loss of LHPP promotes tumor growth and reduces the probability of survival of cancer patients. This protein could potentially be used as a prognostic marker.
"It is amazing that LHPP present in healthy tissue and is completely absent in the tumor tissue" - the scientists noted.
Re-introduction of genetic information LHPP allowed researchers to prevent the formation of tumors, and to support liver function.
LHPP loss in cancer patients
"Just as in mice models, we observed a striking reduction LHPP levels in tumors of patients with liver cancer " - the researchers reported. In addition, the severity of the disease, and life expectancy was associated with the levels of this protein. With complete loss of tumor suppressor patients died in an average of two years before.
Phosphorylation and tumor genesis
LHPP - phosphatase that removes phosphate groups associated with histidine, of the proteins. As with all amino acids, histidine is the main component proteins. Histidine phosphorylation of proteins is poorly understood because of the lack of appropriate "tools". But new research may become a new "instrument" through which it is possible to analyze the phosphorylation of histidine.
Due to the lack LHPP increases total protein histidine phosphorylation, which may lead to the activation of several important functions and uncontrolled cell proliferation. This deficiency promotes the growth of tumors by the number of histidine-phosphorylated proteins. Perhaps tumor suppressor LHPP plays an important role in the development of other types of cancer.