A National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) research team has discovered a key mechanism that affects lung cancer metastasis, which could become a potential biomarker, the institutes said yesterday.
Cancer has been the leading cause of death in Taiwan for 37 years, with lung cancer the leading cause of cancer deaths. A significant majority of such deaths are associated with tumor metastasis.
A team led by NHRI Immunology Research Center director Tan Tse-hua (譚澤華) and assistant research fellow Chuang Huai-chia (莊懷佳) has spent years exploring the mechanism between cancer metastasis and MAP4K3 (also known as GLK), a protein encoded by the MAP4K3 gene.
Photo: Lin Hui-chin, Taipei Times
The team’s previous studies showed that up to 76 percent of non-small cell lung cancer patients have overexpression of GLK in their bodies, and that overexpression of GLK in human lung cancer is associated with poor prognosis and recurrence, Chuang said.
However, the role of GLK in cancer recurrence was unclear, she said.
Using GLK transgenic mice that were bred with genetically modified lung cancer mice allowed the team to study the effect of GLK on the progression of the disease, and they found that GLK induced lung cancer to metastasize in lymph nodes, the brain and liver, she said.
Transgenic GLK promotes tumor metastasis and cell migration through the scaffold protein IQ motif–containing GTPase-activating protein 1 (IQGAP1), by binding to, phosphorylating and activating IQGAP1, the team found.
Human tissues displayed increased phospho-IQGAP1, which correlated with poor survival, so if the overexpression of GLK is inhibited, lung cancer recurrence and tumor metastasis might be controlled, she added.
Tan said that GLK plays a crucial role in promoting cell migration and cancer metastasis by directly binding to and phosphorylating IQGAP1, so their findings suggest that the GLK–IQGAP1 complex is a potential therapeutic target for cancer recurrence.
GLK knockout (inactivated) mice have a life span about 1.5 times that of average mice, which suggests that GLK inhabitation might also have anti-aging effects, he said.
The study was published as the cover story in last month’s issue of Cancer Research and the team is applying for a patent for the findings of the GLK–IQGAP1 complex study, the NHRI said.
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
TRACING TROUBLE: An infected man who had said that all his children were abroad was found to have a daughter in Kaohsiung who tested positive, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a new daily record of 29 local COVID-19 cases, including seven cases with unknown sources of infection. Of the 29 cases, 16 are linked to tea houses in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news briefing in Taipei. The 16 are tea house workers or visitors, or their contacts, the CECC said. Workers and visitors to the establishments have frequent interpersonal contact, but few protective measures against the COVID-19 pandemic are in place, Chen said, urging those who have been exposed or have
ENFORCING CAUTION: Certain entertainment facilities are to close nationwide to prevent people traveling there from high-risk areas in the north, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert for Taipei and New Taipei City to level 3 in light of surging cases in the two cities. The enhanced disease prevention measures for level 3 are to be implemented until May 28, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a morning news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei. With 180 locally transmitted cases confirmed yesterday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that the government must take immediate action to protect the public, referring to measures stipulated in the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法). Other counties