Discovering the cure for malignant mesothelioma is very important. And doctors are using radical approaches in the currently approved radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgical treatments. Simultaneously, finding the mechanism with which tumor cells progress and metastasize can take away the liberty of growth from cancer cells.

This process will limit the cancer progression and will also help surgeons to remove the tumor from the body altogether.

Italian researchers studied cancer-promoting molecules, EphB4, and discovered the process of its expression. Controlling the expression of cancer-promoting EphB4 can halt all the tumor progressing events associated with it.

The lead researcher of the study is Dr. Pierluigi Scalia from the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Division of Biology, Temple University. Dr. Scalia and Italian researchers from the Department of Medical Biotechnologies at the University of Siena , Endocrinology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Garibaldi-Nesima Medical Center, University of Catania, and scientists from the Institute of Computational Molecular Science, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, Philadelphia studied how the expression of EphB4 promote cancer cells growth.

By regulating EphB4 expression, researchers can halt the growth of malignant mesothelioma cells. Title of the study is

"Identification of a novel EphB4 phosphodegron regulated by the autocrine IGFII/IRA axis in malignant mesothelioma."

Oncogene Journal published this research on 3rd July 2019.

What is the Function of EphB4 in Malignant Mesothelioma?

EphB4 (Ephrin Type B Receptor 4) highly expressed in cancer cells, including malignant mesothelioma. The overexpression of this molecule is linked with several cancer-promoting effects.

EphB4 helps in the creation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), which is vital for the growth of tumor cells. Moreover, it also assists cancerous cells in spreading in other parts of the body.

Factors Regulating the Presence of EphB4 in Cancer

To reveal the upregulation (increased expression of protein) mechanism of EphB4, the researchers studied the effect of IGF-II on cancer-promoting processes. Several pieces of research have shown that IGF-II (Insulin-like growth factor- 2) plays an essential role in the progression of various tumors.

Here, the Italian researchers studied the correlative functions of both IGF-II and EphB4 in malignant mesothelioma tumor growth. The results show,

"EphB4 protein expression strictly relies upon the autocrine IGF-II steady-state signal in malignant mesothelioma cell lines."

Results showed that signals by IGF-II alter the expression of EphB4  protein in the cells. And this change helps the tumor cells to enter into a metastatic stage of cancer. The researchers wrote,

"our study showing the dependency between the autocrine IGF-II -generated stimuli and the steady-state EphB4 protein expression in cancer suggests an underscored role for this novel degradation rescue mechanism as a potential player in the tumorigenic switch in malignant mesothelioma."

Understanding Cancer Promoting Mechanism Possibly Treat Mesothelioma and Other Cancers

The results of this study help control all cancers in which tumor cells secrete IGF-II protein. EphB4 protein expresses and functions in the same manner in breast cancer, sarcoma, liver cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer as in mesothelioma tumors.

The researchers concluded the results of their fruitful experiment saying,

"Altogether, these findings disclose a novel molecular mechanism for the maintenance of EphB4- expression in malignant mesothelioma cells and other IGF-II-secreting cancers (IGF2omas)."

With an increasing demand for cancer-curing treatments, this type of research is significant to help stop the tumor progression by limiting tumor assisting cellular mechanisms.

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