Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential New Drug Target For Chronic Leukemia

Date:
December 4, 2008
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Researchers have discovered what could be a novel drug target for an often difficult-to-treat form of leukemia. The investigators have identified a unique "signature" or pattern of a specific family of enzymes in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the most common form of adult leukemia.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the Moores UCSD Cancer Center have discovered what could be a novel drug target for an often difficult-to-treat form of leukemia. The investigators have identified a unique "signature" or pattern of a specific family of enzymes in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common form of adult leukemia.

Paul Insel, M.D., professor of pharmacology and medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and his co-workers compared white blood cells in patients with CLL to those of healthy adults. They found that one form of the group of enzymes, collectively known as cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, was 10 times higher in CLL patients than in normal individuals. The specific type of enzyme, phosphodiesterase 7B (PDE7B), controls the levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP), a molecule that can promote programmed cell death, a process that is defective in CLL. The team reports its findings this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Whereas most cancers have out-of-control cell growth, CLL is characterized by an overabundance of white blood cells that do not die when they should, Insel explained.

The scientists subsequently tested the effects of drugs that blocked PDE7B in CLL cells, and found that this raised cAMP levels and caused CLL cells to undergo cell death. He explained that since PDE7B degrades cAMP, blocking PDE7B in essence takes the clamp off of programmed cell death, enabling CLL cells to die.

"PDE7B is thus a new drug target for CLL," he said. "We have preliminary data from patient samples studied in the laboratory showing that we can increase the killing of CLL cells even more if we block PDE7B and also add other drugs used to treat CLL."

He noted that a test for PDE7B might also potentially be used as a way to detect CLL, though this has yet to be proven. CLL, which usually strikes adults over age 35, has two major forms. One form progresses slowly, with few symptoms for years, and can be difficult to detect. The other form is more aggressive and dangerous. No one knows what makes one form different from the other. Current therapies have limited effectiveness, especially once the disease is in its aggressive phase.

The researchers are planning to screen potential drugs to treat CLL based on the PDE7B-cAMP connection. They are also exploring other potential treatment strategies to increase cAMP or disrupt its breakdown.

"We think that CLL cells may have found ways to help keep themselves alive by preventing cAMP from increasing," Insel said. "This paper provides a validation of the importance of the cAMP pathway as a target for drugs that might be used to treat CLL."

The American Cancer Society estimates that, in 2008, there will be about 15,110 new cases of CLL in the United States. About 4,390 people in this country will die of CLL during 2008.

Other contributors to the work include Thomas Kipps, M.D., Ph.D., Lingzhi Zhang, Ph.D., Fiona Murray, Ph.D., Anja Zahno, Joan Kanter, Daisy Chou, Ryan Suda, Michael Fenlon, Laura Rassenti, Ph.D. and Howard Cottam, Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Potential New Drug Target For Chronic Leukemia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124174901.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2008, December 4). Potential New Drug Target For Chronic Leukemia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124174901.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Potential New Drug Target For Chronic Leukemia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124174901.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins