Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cancer therapy: A role for MAPK inhibitors combined with mTORC1 inhibitors

25.08.2008
Nearly a decade ago, while it was being tested as an immunosuppressive agent to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients, the drug rapamycin was also discovered to have anti-tumor properties.

Since then, several rapamycin analogs known as mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) inhibitors have been tested in clinical trials for the treatment of various types of cancer.

But despite promising early results, mTOR inhibitors have proven less successful than originally expected.

Now research led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) identifies a previously unrecognized problem faced by these agents when it comes to attacking cancers. Reported in the August 21 advance on-line issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), the new findings show that at the same time that rapamycin analogs are halting tumor growth by inhibiting the mTOR protein complex 1 (mTORC1), they are activating the MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathway -- thereby encouraging cancer cell survival.

"Anticancer research is aimed at understanding the molecular pathways that can be selectively targeted to halt tumor growth," explains senior author Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD, Director of Basic Research of the Cancer Center at BIDMC and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "We know that the mTOR pathway is activated in many cancers, and therefore, is a good target for fighting a wide array of tumors."

The mTOR pathway controls cell growth and angiogenesis through a series of mechanisms that integrate signaling from nutrients and other growth-promoting pathways. Activation of mTOR, therefore, promotes the proliferation of tumor cells, while inhibition of mTOR counters this action. However, because the mTOR signaling pathway is extremely complex, scientists have focused their efforts on identifying other agents that could be successfully combined with mTOR inhibitors to halt cancer growth.

The new findings shine a light on MAPK, a signaling pathway also known for its role in sensing growth factors to promote cell survival and proliferation.

"We analyzed tissue from human biopsies, as well as cancer cell lines and genetically engineered mouse models of cancer," explains the study's first author Arkaitz Carracedo, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Pandolfi laboratory. "These experiments all pointed to the MAPK pathway."

From there, Carracedo and his coauthors went on to test a group of MAPK inhibitor agents to find out if, in combination with mTOR inhibitors, the agents would act to counter any pro-survival activity. And they did.

"This study inserts a new piece of information into the puzzle of the effects of mTORC1 inhibitors in cell signaling," says Pandolfi. "Furthermore, because there are inhibitors of MAPK pathway already approved for the treatment of cancer, it provides us with the rationale for using combinations of mTORC1 and MAPK inhibitors in attacking tumors, thereby offering cancer patients another treatment option with immediate applicability."

Bonnie Prescott | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bidmc.harvard.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos
30.03.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>