Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research Points To New Target For Stopping Colon Cancer

Date:
August 31, 2009
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
New research has found a drug target that suggests a potent way to kill colon cancers that resist current drugs aimed at blocking a molecule found on the surface of cells.

Drugs that target the epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR, have been used for a number of cancers. But these drugs called EGFR inhibitors, such as cetuximab, have not been very effective against colon cancer.

Related Articles


The new study, however, shows that drugs that target the closely related receptor ERBB3 would probably be much more effective than EGFR inhibitors at treating most colorectal cancers, said David Threadgill, Ph.D., adjunct professor in the department of genetics at UNC and lead author of the study. He also is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor in the genetics department at North Carolina State University.

The study is published online August 17 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The researchers genetically blocked ERBB3 in a mouse model of colon cancer and in human colon cancer cell lines. “If you genetically remove ERBB3, as you would if you were pharmacologically targeting it, then the mice rarely develop colon cancer,” Threadgill said.

In the human colon cancer cell lines that are resistant to EGFR inhibitors, cell death increased dramatically when ERBB3 was genetically removed. “So ERBB3 is essential for preventing colon cancer cells from dying,” Threadgill said. Now Threadgill is testing a pharmacologic inhibitor to get the same anti-ERBB3 effect they achieved with genetics. “If we can use an inhibitor to block ERBB3, then it should be a very potent anti-cancer therapeutic,” he said.

More broadly, the study suggests a new path for developing anti-cancer drugs.

Many cancer therapeutics, such as EGFR inhibitors, target proteins that are kinases—enzymes that initiate a cascade of signals that tell cells to reproduce. But ERBB3 is a pseudo-kinase; it functions only by binding with other proteins that have kinase activity.

“This study shows that targets that historically hadn’t been considered because they don’t have the typical activities of a kinase can be equally if not more important in supporting cancer cells,” Threadgill said.

Other UNC co-authors are Ming Yu, a former graduate student in the department of genetics and the Program in Oral Biology; Christina Pannicia, former undergraduate student in biology; and Daekee Lee, formerly of the genetics department and now of Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Other co-authors are Eunjung Lee, Hyunok Kim and Kyoungmi Kim of Ewha Womans University; and Jonathan M. Kurie and Yanan Yang of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Science Foundation, and the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Research Points To New Target For Stopping Colon Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090817184537.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2009, August 31). Research Points To New Target For Stopping Colon Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090817184537.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Research Points To New Target For Stopping Colon Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090817184537.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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