Monday May 28, 2018

Scientists discover new treatment for bone loss

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New York: Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), Florida, have developed a method to manipulate a protein that could result in the development of new bone-forming cells in patients suffering from bone loss.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, focused on a protein called PPARy (known as the master regulator of fat) and its impact on the fate of stem cells derived from bone marrow (mesenchymal stem cells).

Since these mesenchymal stem cells can develop into several different cell types — including fat, connective tissues, bone and cartilage — they have a number of potentially important therapeutic applications.

The scientists knew that a partial loss of PPARy in a genetically modified mouse model led to increased bone formation.

To see if they could mimic that effect using a drug candidate, the researchers designed a new compound that could repress the biological activity of PPARy.

The results showed that when human mesenchymal stem cells were treated with the new compound, which they called SR2595, there was a statistically significant increase in osteoblast formation, a cell type known to form bone.

“These findings demonstrate for the first time a new therapeutic application for drugs targeting PPARy, which has been the focus of efforts to develop insulin sensitisers to treat type 2 diabetes,” said Patrick Griffin, director of the Translational Research Institute at Scripps Florida.

“We have already demonstrated SR2595 has suitable properties for testing in mice. The next step is to perform an in-depth analysis of the drug’s efficacy in animal models of bone loss, ageing, obesity and diabetes,” Griffin added.

In addition to identifying a potential new therapeutic for bone loss, the study may have even broader implications.

“Because PPARG is so closely related to several proteins with known roles in disease, we can potentially apply these structural insights to design new compounds for a variety of therapeutic applications,” said David P. Marciano, first author of the study. (IANS)

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Researchers Identified Protein Associated With Breast Cancer

In HER2-positive breast cancers, cells with high levels of AXL are more likely to detach from tumours to form metastases.

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In HER2-positive breast cancers, cells with high levels of AXL are more likely to detach from tumours to form metastases.
Protein associated with Breast Cancer, Pixabay

Researchers have found that a protein that, once deactivated, could prevent the spread of an aggressive type of breast cancer to other sites in the body, a process known as metastasis.

In their study, published in the journal Cell Reports, the researchers demonstrated that a protein, AXL, influences the occurrence of metastasis in HER2-positive cancer, an aggressive type that accounts for 20 per cent of breast cancers.

In HER2-positive breast cancers, cells with high levels of AXL are more likely to detach from tumours to form metastases.

Researchers have found that a protein that, once deactivated, could prevent the spread of an aggressive type of breast cancer to other sites in the body, a process known as metastasis.
Representational Image, pixabay

The research was done on mice and with samples of tumour cells taken from cancer patients in Montreal, Canada.

In women with HER2-positive cancer, it was found that the less AXL is present, the better the survival rate.

Also Read: To Fight Air Pollution, Delhi Scientists Are Turning Smoke Into Ink

Previously, researchers had linked the AXL protein to another type of cancer, triple negative breast cancer, but its role in in HER2-positive cancer was not known.

“Based on this discovery, a treatment targeting AXL could reduce the risk of metastasis,” said one of the researchers Jean-Francois Cote, Professor at Universite de Montreal in Canada. (IANS)

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