Dutch researchers crack cancer chemotherapy resistance mechanism
Groningen – Researchers from the University of Groningen have identified a new mechanism that enables cancer cells to resist platinum-based chemotherapy. In resistant cancer stem cells of patients with testicular cancer, the team headed by Steven de Jong determined the localisation of a cell cycle inhibitor to mediate the effect (JCI, doi: 10.1172/JCI41939). In most patients they found the cyclin-dependent kinase blocker p21 to be overexpressed in the cytoplasm of embryonal testicular carcinoma cells. When the researchers relocated the protein to the nucleus, where it is
expressed normally, mice became re-sensitised to the chemotherapy cisplatin. While high cytoplasmatic expression levels of p21 were associated with low expression of the regulatory molecules Oct4 and miR106b, the scientists hope to reverse the effect by modulation of this cancer pathway.