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Study Identifies Novel Approach to Block Prostate Cancer Development

by VR Sreeraman on November 29, 2008 at 5:08 PM
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 Study Identifies Novel Approach to Block Prostate Cancer Development

Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) have identified a novel approach that can block the development of prostate cancer.

In the study conducted using animal models has found that inactivating a specific protein associated with cancer development inhibits prostate tumour progression.

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"This research has far-reaching implications in a wide range for human cancers," said Amy Lee, Ph.D., the study's principal investigator and the associate director for basic research and holder of the Freeman Cosmetics Chair at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

"It is a breakthrough study," she added.

Lee said that the glucose-regulated protein GRP78 has been identified as a crucial entity in the development of prostate cancer by promoting cancer cell proliferation, mediating oncogenic signalling and protecting cancer cells against cell death resulting from the stress of tumor development.
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By suppressing GRP78 expression or activity, the researchers found that they could block prostate cancer activation and development resulting from the loss of PTEN, a powerful tumour suppressor gene for a number of human cancers.

"To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that inactivation of a specific molecular chaperone from the mouse prostate epithelial cells can potently block prostate cancer development and suppress the activation of AKT, which is a protein kinase that promotes cell proliferation and survival and is a major factor in many types of cancer," she said.

"With the recent advances in identifying agents that suppress GRP78 expression, anti-GRP78 therapy may open up an entirely new approach to stop human cancer," she added.

The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: ANI
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