Skip to main content

Evading cell death

Nov. 8, 2018, 1:30 PM

by Amanda Johnson

Cancer cells can develop resistance to the treatments designed to eliminate them. Several studies have linked stress granules (SGs), cell organelles that form transiently in response to extracellular stress, to this phenomenon. However, how SGs protect cancer cells remains unclear.

Susan Wente, PhD, and Laura Glass, PhD, report their establishment of an experimental cell culture model system to investigate the link between SGs and cell resistance to toxic stress in Advances in Biological Regulation.

Using their system, these investigators discovered altered SG biology in a subpopulation of cells that acquired resistance during multiple rounds of chemotoxic stress treatment. They further found that the protein Gle1A was required for the survival response and that resistant cells secrete specific factors that confer treatment insensitivity to naïve cells.

These findings support a role for SGs in helping cells evade death. They also lay important groundwork for future investigations aimed at understanding and targeting SG-associated cell survival to improve cancer therapy efficacy.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant GM051219).

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Sharon Seibert is among the more than 5,000 patients who have received a stem cell transplant at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which has one of the best survival rates in the nation and is at the forefront of new cellular therapies.

Momentum

Sharon Seibert is among the more than 5,000 patients who have received a stem cell transplant at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which has one of the best survival rates in the nation and is at the forefront of new cellular therapies.

The first few minutes of Charlie’s life were a blur, as a team of doctors and nurses at VUMC worked to resuscitate him and stabilize his heart rate. He was then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Hope

The first few minutes of Charlie’s life were a blur, as a team of doctors and nurses at VUMC worked to resuscitate him and stabilize his heart rate. He was then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Tucked away in a Vanderbilt conference room, 36 adults huddle over Lego pieces. Eleven teams have been assigned to assemble multicolored Legos using the written directions included in the packet. The result should be a Frankenstein figure.

Vanderbilt Nurse

Tucked away in a Vanderbilt conference room, 36 adults huddle over Lego pieces. Eleven teams have been assigned to assemble multicolored Legos using the written directions included in the packet. The result should be a Frankenstein figure.

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

Vanderbilt Medicine

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

more