"Before this there were no known chemical probes for the more than 200 domains in the human genome that recognize methyl lysine. In that regard, it is a first in class compound. The goal is to use the chemical probe to understand the biology of the proteins that it targets," said Dr. James.
The chemical probe UNC1215 will be used to investigate the function of malignant brain tumor domain protein, L3MBTL3, and study its role in different signaling pathways and disease.
Credit: Frye Lab, UNC
Chromatin regulatory pathways play a fundamental role in gene expression and disease development, especially in the case of cancer. While many chemical probes work through the inhibition of enzyme activity, L3MBTL3 functions as a mediator of protein-to-protein interactions, which have been historically difficult to target with small, drug-like molecules.The researchers found three to four further disease subtypes within TN tumors, with more than 75 percent of the tumors falling into the basal-like subtype. Further research is needed to identify the distinct biomarkers shared by the expanded subtypes of TN cancers. The ultimate goal will be to target the individual biomarkers of these subtypes and create therapies that target their individual biology, according to Dr. Perou.
"Many people believe that protein-protein interactions are difficult to target. Often they have a large surface area, so it is hard for small molecules to go in and intervene," said Dr. James.
Almost 40 percent of the genes that drive cancer can be mapped to dysfunction within signaling pathways. In the last five years, chemical probe development has allowed researchers to make fundamental observations of the role of these pathways in cancer development, as well as pointing to potential targets for new therapies. Each of the complex interactions within the signaling pathways represents a potential point where a therapy can be applied, and the probes allow researchers to interact with these processes at the molecular level and observe the overall effect of their perturbation on the disease state.
In a 2008 Nature Chemical Biology commentary, Dr. Frye outlined the qualities that make a good chemical probe. To Frye, a good chemical probe must be highly selective to enable specific questions to be asked and it must function as well in a cell as in the test tube, providing clear quantitative data with a well understood mechanism of action in either situation. It also must be available to all academic researchers without restrictions on its use, a criteria that the L3MBTL3 probe fulfills through the Frye lab's commitment to provide researchers with the probe free of charge on request and UNC1215 is already available through commercial vendors as well.
This research was supported by NIH grants (RC1GM090732 and R01GM100919) and the University Cancer Research Fund.
William Davis | EurekAlert!
One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie
The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy