Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery Holds Promise For New Effective Cancer Therapies

Date:
September 3, 2009
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
Researchers in Canada have discovered a new target that may be instrumental in the development of new, more effective cancer therapies.

Researchers Dr. Marc Therrien at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal, and Dr. Frank Sicheri, at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, have discovered a new target that may be instrumental in the development of new, more effective cancer therapies.

A recent article co-authored by Drs. Therrien and Sicheri and published in the scientific journal Nature sheds new light on the activation mechanism of the RAF protein kinase which, when mutated, is responsible for more than 25 per cent of cancers. Understanding this mechanism may lead to novel anti-cancer agents designed to minimize the toxic side effects caused by chemotherapy.

The RAF family of kinases regulates various cellular processes including cell growth, differentiation and survival. The Therrien-Sicheri team is the first to show that the dimerization, or combination, of two RAF proteins is essential to its activation. Inhibiting the dimerization of RAF may therefore block its activation, thus stopping cancer cells from growing. The study exposes not only the activation mechanism of RAF, but potentially the mechanisms that control other protein kinases, a large number of which are linked to cancer and other diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and neurodegeneration.

"Basic researchers believe that one of the most promising strategies to finding lifelong cures for cancers lies in understanding the molecular underpinnings specific to cancer cells," explains Dr. Therrien, "It is hoped that this will translate to the development of inhibitors tailored to specific molecular defects and, as a result, should increase the effectiveness of new target-based cancer therapies."

"Protein kinases are the targets for some of the most successful anti-cancer drugs in the clinic," says Dr. Sicheri. "Now that we have discovered how to turn off the RAF protein without interfering with other proteins, we may be able to design drugs that have unprecedented precision in targeting cancer cells while reducing the toxic side effects for patients."

The Therrien-Sicheri team intends to jointly pursue work in this area to identify drug-like molecules to block the dimerization process of RAF, which may possibly lead to the discovery of new classes of anti-cancer agents.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Thanashan Rajakulendran, Malha Sahmi, Martin Lefrançois, Frank Sicheri and Marc Therrien. A dimerization-dependent mechanism drives RAF catalytic activation. Nature, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nature08314

Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Discovery Holds Promise For New Effective Cancer Therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090902133633.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2009, September 3). Discovery Holds Promise For New Effective Cancer Therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090902133633.htm
University of Montreal. "Discovery Holds Promise For New Effective Cancer Therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090902133633.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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