New research paves the way for novel cancer therapeutics

A team of scientists have revealed the mechanism by which tumour cells elevate levels of MDM4, a protein that is highly present in cancer cells but not in normal adult tissues. After further study, they have found that antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) can interfere with the mechanism, to suppress cancer growth.

P53 is a tumour suppresor which cancer cells must prevent in order to multiply. For a skin-related melanoma, tumour cells achieve this with an overexpression of MDM4.

Using the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology's (IMCB) expertise in the field of ASOs, the scientists found that using ASOs to target an abundance of the MDM4 protein could impair tumour growth, reduce cell proliferation and increase cell death. 

This discovery suggests that MDM4 is a promising clinically-compatible therapeutic target, and offers alternative therapeutic avenues not only for melanoma, but also for a wide range of other MDM4-expressing cancers, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, B-cell lymphoma or retinoblastoma.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 

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