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.
17.04.2014 The European Parliament has given green light to the second Innovative Medicines Initiative with the aim to advance pharmacological research and development, particularly in areas of unmet medical need.
11.04.2014 There is no evidence that neuraminidase inhibitors Tamiflu and Relenza prevent complications of influenza or reduce hospital admissions. In addition, it is unclear whether they can stop the spread of influenza in case of outbreaks, says a report by the Cochrane Collaboration.
09.04.2014 Roche is extending its involvement in the area of point-of-care diagnostics by taking over US company Iquum. In the field of epigenetics, the Swiss pharma company has started a cooperation with the Spanish company Oryzon.
08.04.2014 The Swiss Biotech Report 2014 presented in Zurich sees an encouraging upturn in the country's biotech scene. However, the acceptance of the mass immigration initiative poses a significant threat.
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