21.05.2013 - Dutch cancer experts have found an enzyme that seems to induce cancer senescence.
When oncogenes are activated inside a cell, they normally mobilise tumour suppressor networks which can act like a brake to cancer through a process termed oncogene-induced senescence (OIS). They withdraw proliferating cells almost irreversibly, providing protection against malignant transformation. Now, a research team led by Daniel Peeper from the Netherland’s Cancer Institute in Amsterdam has identified a metabolic gate-keeper of the process.
Using metabolic and functional analyses of melanoma cells carrying the common BRAFV600E mutation, the team of Dutch, Scottish, Belgian, Spanish, Israeli and US researchers identified the TCA enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) as a crucial mediator of cancer senescence. BRAFV600E-induced senescence was accompanied by simultaneous suppression of the PDH-inhibitory enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1) and induction of the PDH-activating enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase 2 (PDP2). The resulting combined activation of PDH enhanced the use of pyruvate in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, causing increased respiration and redox stress.
Enforced normalisation of either PDK1 or PDP2 expression levels inhibited PDH and abrogated oncogene-induced senescence. Depletion of PDK1 eradicated melanoma subpopulations resistant to targeted BRAF inhibition, and caused regression of established melanomas. The results suggest a mechanistically new therapeutic route to induce cancer senescence and stop tumour cell proliferation at its earliest stages.
24.07.2015 Biotech companies across Europe continue to raise cash on the public markets, generating €3bn in total financing proceedings in the first half of 2015. Compared to 2014, this is almost twice as much.
23.07.2015 US money keeps flowing into Europe's biotechs. As the race for the peanut allergy market heats up, NASDAQ listed French biotech DBV has announced the successful closing of US$281m (€256m) share offering for its allergy products.
16.07.2015 Sanofi has announced plans to restructure its business in five standalone global business units starting in January 2016. The goal is to promote growth and help the company launch a catalogue of new drugs over the next five years.
15.07.2015 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has become the first drugmaker to join the Francis Crick Institute. It is a consortium made up of six scientific and academic institutes to conduct research and drug development in the UK. The new institute is set to become a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation.
10.07.2015 Karolinska Development has slashed the reported value of its portfolio by almost half by revising its valuation model for early stage companies and divesting its shares in pain med maker Pharmanest.
08.07.2015 Horizon Pharma plc. has set its sights on US-American speciality pharma company Depomed Inc. After getting nowhere with the rival’s board, Horizon has now launched a US$3bn hostile bid for the pain and CNS specialist.
07.07.2015 Irish pharma play Allergan plc. is boosting its eye care business by acquiring US-American medtech company Oculeve. Included in the deal are Oculeve’s dry eye disease development programmes.
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