Cell signaling in cervical cancer; gene variant impairs glycogen synthesis

Mouse model shows the role of cell signaling in growth of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in women worldwide and is the leading cause of cancer death for women in developing countries. In research published in this week’s PLoS Medicine, Douglas Hanahan (University of California San Francisco, USA) and colleagues investigate how cell signaling in the stroma – the tissue that surrounds a tumor – plays a role in the progression of cervical cancer. Using a mouse model of cervical cancer, the researchers looked at a protein that is made by the tumor cells known as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). The research finds that the signaling in the stromal cells triggered by the release of this protein stimulates the growth of the tumor.

In a separate perspective article, Rakesh Jain (Harvard Medical School, USA) and colleagues, who were not involved in the study, suggest that the results offer a “foundation for development of new approaches to the treatment of cervical cancer” that target PDGF signaling to slow the progression of the disease.

Citation: Pietras K, Pahler J, Bergers G, Hanahan D (2008) Functions of paracrine PDGF signaling in the proangiogenic tumor stroma revealed by pharmacological targeting. PLoS Med 5(1): e19.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050019

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-01-hanahan.pdf

CONTACT: Douglas Hanahan University of California San Francisco Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics Diabetes Center 513 Parnassus Ave. HSW1090 San Francisco, CA 94143-0534 United States of America +1 415 476-9209 +1 415 731-3612 (fax) dh@biochem.ucsf.edu

Related PLoS Medicine perspective article:

Citation: Jain RK, Lahdenranta J, Fukumura D (2008) Targeting PDGF signaling in carcinoma-associated fibroblasts controls cervical cancer in mouse model. PLoS Med 5(1): e24.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050024

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-01-jain.pdf

CONTACT: Rakesh Jain Harvard Medical School Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA 02114 United States of America +1 617 726-4083 +1 617 726-4172 (fax) jain@steele.mgh.harvard.edu

Genetic variant impairs glycogen synthesis

Glycogen is stored in skeletal muscles and liver and is of central importance as a first source of energy for muscle contractions, especially during high intensity exercise. Human genetic disorders primarily affecting skeletal muscle glycogen turnover are well-recognised, but rare. In new research published in PLoS Medicine, Stephen O'Rahilly (University of Cambridge, UK) and colleagues describe the effect of a recently identified genetic variant – known as PPP1R3A FS – that affects glycogen turnover and other aspects of metabolism. Confirming that the variant is common in the UK white population (in 1.46% of the 744 adults enrolled in the study), the findings identify PPP1R3A FS as the first prevalent mutation known to imp air glycogen synthesis and to decrease glycogen levels in human skeletal muscles.

In an accompanying perspective that discusses the study, Leif Groop and Marju Orho-Melander (both at Lund University, Sweden), who were not involved in the study, says that the study helps to “shed new light on the role of disturbed glycogen synthesis in disease pathogenesis.”

Citation: Savage DB, Zhai L, Ravikumar B, Choi CS, Snaar JE (2008) A prevalent variant in PPP1R3A impairs glycogen synthesis and reduces muscle glycogen content inhumans and mice. PLoS Med 5(1): e27.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050027

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-01-o'rahilly.pdf

CONTACT: Stephen O’Rahilly University of Cambridge Departments of Medicine and Clinical Biochemistry Addenbrooke's Hospital Hills Road Cambridge, CB2 2QR United Kingdom +44-1223-336855 +44-1223-330598 (fax) so104@medschl.cam.ac.uk

Related PLoS Medicine perspective article:

Citation: Groop L, Orho-Melander M (2008) New insights into impaired muscle glycogen synthesis. PLoS Med 5(1): e25.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050025

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-01-groop.pdf

CONTACT: Leif Groop Lund University Department of Clinical Sciences, Diabetes and Endocrinology Malmoe, 20502 Sweden +46 40 391202 +46-40-391222 (fax) leif.groop@med.lu.se

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