Northwood, United Kingdom
Northwood, United Kingdom

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PubMed | UK Cancer Research Campaign
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The EMBO journal | Year: 2010

We have constructed hybrid genes in which the coding region of the bacterial gene chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) has been linked to varying lengths of upstream sequences of Drosophila genes for larval serum sequence 1 (LSP1). These have been inserted into a P-element transformation vector and subsequently transferred into the germ-line of recipient flies. Transformants carrying the CAT gene linked to 1650 bp, 570 bp or 377 bp of upstream LSP1alpha sequences, or 745 bp or 471 bp of upstream beta sequences express CAT with the same developmental and tissue specificity as the endogenous LSP1 genes. Constructs having only 66 bp of upstream LSP1beta sequences, however, show extremely low levels of CAT expression in tissues and at developmental stages in which LSP1 is not expressed. We discuss the significance of short regions of homology between the DNA upstream of the alpha and beta genes, which lie within the regions identified by the transformation experiments as being required for the cis-regulation of LSP1 synthesis.


PubMed | UK Cancer Research Campaign
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The EMBO journal | Year: 2010

We have examined the distribution of sequences homologous to the type I and type II rDNA insertions of Drosophila melanogaster in its sibling species. Each of the six species we have examined has sequences homologous to the type I insertion, which have undergone extensive divergence by the criterion of their EcoRI, BstI and HindIII restriction patterns. We have isolated cosmid clones containing type I sequences from D. simulans and D. mauritiana, the two species most closely related to D. melanogaster. Southern hybridisation analysis of these clones indicates that, as in D. melanogaster, the type I sequences can exist independently of rDNA and can also dissociate to give sub-components homologous to the right hand segment of the D. melanogaster type I insertion. The type II sequences, on the other hand are present in five out of the six species, but their restriction endonuclease cleavage profile is highly conserved. The differences in the degree of conservation of the two types of insertion sequence are discussed.


PubMed | UK Cancer Research Campaign
Type: | Journal: Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2012

The study of cell kinetics has traditionally involved the use of radioactive precursors of DNA, such as tritiated thymidine ((3)HTdR), and autoradiography to detect their incorporation into DNA. These techniques have provided detailed knowledge of cell kinetics in both in vitro and in vivo experimental systems. The technique, however, is time consuming and arduous and is not readily applicable to human tumor research because of ethical problems involved in incorporation of a radioisotope into DNA.


PubMed | UK Cancer Research Campaign
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Current opinion in molecular therapeutics | Year: 2010

Roche Holding AG, and its subsidiaries Genentech Inc and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, are developing trastuzumab emtansine (trastuzumab-DM1) for the treatment of HER2+ metastatic breast cancer. Trastuzumab emtansine is a tumor-activated prodrug resulting from the conjugation of the humanized anti-HER2 mAb trastuzumab, which has been used in the treatment of breast cancer for over 10 years, with ImmunoGen Incs cytotoxic and antimitotic maytansine derivative DM1. The maytansinoids bind microtubules in a manner similar to the vinca alkaloids; however, maytansinoids have been recognized to be 20- to 100-fold more potent at blocking mitosis. Nevertheless, the use of these compounds as single agents is limited by toxicity. By conjugating DM1 with trastuzumab, the delivery of the cytotoxic agent to target cells is more specific and reduces the safety concerns. In preclinical studies, the conjugation was effective in breast cancer cell lines resistant to trastuzumab, and demonstrated complete tumor regression in SCID mice bearing KPL4 breast cancer xenografts. Clinically, trastuzumab emtansine exhibited efficacy in patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer who had progressed on previous chemotherapy regimens or with trastuzumab therapy. Furthermore, preclinical studies have reported that trastuzumab emtansine potentiates the effect of a number of chemotherapeutic agents (including carboplatin, 5-fluorouracil and docetaxel), other antibodies, receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors and PI3K inhibitors, and many of these combinations are set to be tested in humans. Trastuzumab emtansine offers an exciting new option for the treatment of patients with refractory, metastatic breast cancer.

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