Check out this article regarding the publication of a new study about a drug that could be suppressing PTEN, which helps prevent tumor growth!
TAMPA, Fla. – A collaboration between Saïd M. Sebti, Ph.D., chair of Moffitt Cancer Center’s Drug Discovery Department, and Michele Pagano, M.D., chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, led to the publication of an important study in the latest issue of Nature. The investigation found that the drug, geranylgeranyltransferase inhibitor GGTI-2418 suppresses a new defective PTEN cancer pathway discovered by Pagano’s group.
Fully functional PTEN is well known to suppress tumor growth by antagonizing the PI3K/Akt tumor survival pathway. Pagano’s group discovered a novel mechanism by which PTEN protects cells from cancer by preventing the geranylgeranylated protein FBXL2 from binding and degrading IP3R3. IP3R3 is an important anti-cancer “sensor” recognizing hyper-proliferating cells that use abnormally high levels of energy, and targeting them to self-destruct as an anti-cancer safety mechanism. The PTEN gene binds to IP3R3, protecting its cancer-sensing function. However PTEN is defective in many cancers, and as such, FBXL2 is left unchecked; too much IP3R3 is degraded and fast-multiplying cells are less able to self-destruct.
The researchers found that using GGTI-2418 to block FBXL2 from degrading IP3R3 made the tumors in mice more vulnerable to photodynamic therapy (PDT).
“This experimental drug, by itself and with a form of light therapy, countered FBXL2 to let abnormal cells self-destruct,” said Dr.Pagano.