Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook


The Fertility Show


 

CRISPR shrinks tumours in mice

12 September 2016

By Dr Özge Özkaya

Appeared in BioNews 868

Scientists from China have managed to shrink the size of tumours in mice using CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing technology.

They used the technique to change a gene that normally promotes tumour growth into one that triggers cancer cells to die.

'[This is] a clever use of this technology to control cancer growth in mice by manipulating the expression of cancer-causing genes,' Professor Andrew Sharrocks, professor of molecular biology at the University of Manchester, who was not involved in the study, told the International Business Times.

'The really interesting aspect is that they use a system which responds to signals created by the cancer cells themselves as they grow. This then causes specific genes to switch on or off, which results in elimination of the cancer.'

'However, at this stage it is difficult to envisage how this might be applied to treating cancer in humans,' he added.

The team of researchers, led by Dr Zhiming Cai from the First Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen University in China, modified the CRISPR/Cas9 system so that it becomes activated by a signal that normally promotes tumour growth. The activated CRISPR/Cas9 system then drives the expression of tumour suppressor genes, stopping the growth of the cancer cells.

In a separate part of the study, they used the CRISPR/Cas9 system to induce the expression of genes that trigger cell death. In both cases, when the mice were injected with cancer cells, those with the reprogrammed cells developed much smaller tumours than those who had not been treated.

The results were reported in the journal Nature Methods.

Dr Chris Lord of the Institute of Cancer Research in London, who was not involved in the research, told BBC News: 'The key to translating this technique into the clinic will be to see how specific to the tumour cell the CRISPR activation will be and how specific, in terms of genes, the CRISPR-mediated gene cutting will be.'

In a separate study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, scientists at University of Dresden demonstrated that they could specifically cleave more than 80 percent of known cancer-causing mutations, without targeting healthy genes, using CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Science Daily (press release) | 31 August 2016
 
Nature Methods | 05 September 2016
 
International Business Times | 06 September 2016
 
BBC News | 06 September 2016
 
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | 24 June 2016
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

26 June 2017 - by Meghna Kataria 
Eliminating the faulty protein that causes Huntingdon's disease goes some way to reversing disease progression in mice, a study has found...
08 May 2017 - by Sarah Pritchard 
Aggressive human prostate and liver tumours have been shrunk in mice by targeting a ‘fused’ gene mutation using CRISPR/Cas9...
09 January 2017 - by Dr Özge Özkaya 
Scientists have discovered a new set of proteins that can block the CRISPR/Cas9 system...
14 November 2016 - by Dr Avi Lerner 
Jewish bioethics may help to broaden the discussion of the ethical concerns that emerge from editing the human genome...
17 October 2016 - by Sarah Gregory 
Researchers have used the CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing technique to correct the mutation that causes sickle-cell anaemia...

25 July 2016 - by Rachel Siden 
Chinese scientists plan to start the first-ever clinical trial of CRISPR genome-editing technology in humans – on patients with lung cancer – this August...
27 June 2016 - by Rachel Reeves 
The first in-human use of the genome-editing technology CRISPR has been approved by a US federal safety board...
20 June 2016 - by Rachel Reeves 
A US federal safety board is set to review an application for the first in-human use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing technology to treat cancer...
06 June 2016 - by Ayala Ochert and Amina Yonis 
The team that developed the CRISPR/Cas9 DNA-editing technique have now developed a new system that could allow RNA editing...
11 April 2016 - by James Brooks 
Scientists testing whether the CRISPR genome-editing technique could effectively kill HIV in infected cells have found that, while the approach works in most cases, it can also cement the virus's presence...

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust

CROSSING FRONTIERS

Moving the Boundaries of Human Reproduction

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Jacques Cohen

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Andy Greenfield

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross


BOOK HERE

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation