MAY 24, 2019 2:01 PM PDT

Blocking this particular protein could slow prostate cancer

Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is a particularly aggressive form of prostate cancer. Although the standard of care treatment, which involves disrupting androgen receptor (AR) signaling, is usually effective for 2-3 years, the treatment is not effective long-term and CRPC often develops into lethal metastases.

This is exactly why new research published in Molecular Cancer Research from scientists at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) is so exciting. Led by Gerald V. Denis PhD, the BUSM team has determined that blocking a particular protein could prevent the CRPC growth.

"Our findings are significant because current therapeutic options for CRPC are limited and focus primarily on suppressing prostate tumor cells that rely on AR signaling," explained first author Jordan Shafran. "Therefore, it is imperative to identify 'druggable' targets that regulate prostate cancer cell migration and invasion in cells that are either reliant on, or independent of, androgen receptor signaling," he added.

The group of proteins that the researchers investigated is called BET bromodomain proteins and consists of BRD2, BRD3 and BRD4, which regulate gene expression. Following the study’s results, inhibiting the protein BRD4 consistently regulated prostate cancer cell migration and invasion. The same was not found for the proteins BRD2 or BRD3.

The authors elaborate, writing, “We found that BRD4 regulates cell migration across all models of CRPC, regardless of aggressiveness and AR status, whereas BRD2 and BRD3 only regulate migration and invasion in less aggressive models that retain AR expression or signaling. BRD4, a co-regulator of gene transcription, controls migration and invasion through transcription of AHNAK, a large scaffolding protein linked to [the] promotion of metastasis in a diverse set of cancers. Furthermore, treatment of CRPC cell lines with low doses of MZ1, a small-molecule, BRD4-selective degrader, inhibits metastatic potential.”

CRPC is a particularly aggressive form of cancer. Photo: Pixabay

This discovery could have significant implications for the future of CRPC treatments and could offer a new targetable pathway to treat metastatic CRPC, according to the authors.

Sources: Science Daily, Molecular Cancer Research

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
OCT 08, 2020
Cancer
Oral cancer pain levels indicate metastasis
OCT 08, 2020
Oral cancer pain levels indicate metastasis
A new study from NYU College of Dentistry researchers provides insight as to why patients with metastatic oral cancer ex ...
OCT 20, 2020
Cancer
Is your physical activity intense enough?
OCT 20, 2020
Is your physical activity intense enough?
Older adults with higher physical activity and lower sitting time have better overall physical and mental health, accord ...
OCT 28, 2020
Cancer
Protecting the Head and Neck from Off Target Radiation
OCT 28, 2020
Protecting the Head and Neck from Off Target Radiation
Radiotherapy alone or with chemotherapy is the go-to treatment for head and neck cancers. Unfortunately, head and neck t ...
OCT 26, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Fighting mesothelioma with gold nanotubes
OCT 26, 2020
Fighting mesothelioma with gold nanotubes
New research published in the journal Small details how gold nanotubes could be used to treat mesothelioma cancer. ...
NOV 19, 2020
Cancer
New technique to synthesize phenazines offers hope for cancer treatments
NOV 19, 2020
New technique to synthesize phenazines offers hope for cancer treatments
Research from Tokyo University of Science investigators highlights new accomplishments in the fight against cancer. The ...
DEC 02, 2020
Immunology
A Shingles Vaccine for Cancer Patients
DEC 02, 2020
A Shingles Vaccine for Cancer Patients
Receiving a vaccine (usually in the form of an inactivated pathogen) triggers an immune response without the symptoms of ...
Loading Comments...