Johannes A. Schmid, Ph.D. from MedUni Vienna speaks about How inflammatory signaling molecules contribute to carcinogenesis.
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Researchers at MedUni Vienna's Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Institute of Vascular Biology and Thrombosis Studies, led by Johannes A. Schmid, have discovered a previously unknown molecular connection between an inflammatory signaling molecule and one of the major oncogenes. The paper was published in the prestigious journal Molecular Cancer.
The working group of Johannes A. Schmid at the Institute of Vascular Biology and Thrombosis Research's Center for Physiology and Pharmacology has considerable expertise in the molecular and cellular aspects of inflammatory processes and is investigating what role these processes play in the development of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The researchers hypothesized that there may be a direct association between main inflammatory enzymes, known as I-kappa B kinases (IKKs), and c-Myc, a protein found in high amounts in many types of cancer, based on structural similarities between these molecules. Using a special microscopic method, they were able to validate this relationship.
Bernhard Moser, the study's lead author, was able to remove both c-Myc and the inflammatory enzymes IKK-alpha and IKK-beta from prostate cancer cells using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, demonstrating genetically that the relationship between IKK-alpha and c-Myc is important. In a prostate-cancer mouse model, second author Bernhard Hochreiter was able to confirm the similarity between these two proteins. Finally, bioinformatics studies were conducted, revealing that this association can be seen in a number of human cancers.