Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Map of substrate-kinase interactions may lead to more effective cancer drugs

Later-stage cancers thrive by finding detours around roadblocks that cancer drugs put in their path, but a Purdue University biochemist is creating maps that will help drugmakers close more routes and develop better drugs.

Kinase enzymes deliver phosphates to cell proteins in a process called phosphorylation, switching a cellular function on or off. Irregularities in phosphorylation can lead to uncontrolled cell growth and are a hallmark of cancer.

Many successful cancer drugs are kinase inhibitors, which block the ability of a kinase to bind with a particular protein on the cell, stopping phosphorylation and the creation of cancer cells.

W. Andy Tao, a Purdue associate professor of biochemistry and member of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, said that in later stages of cancers, kinase-inhibiting drugs are ineffective because the kinases adapt, finding new protein targets and forming new cancer cells. He believes that creating maps of all the potential routes for cancer cell formation is a key to developing better cancer drugs.

"I would say that 99 percent of these drugs are effective for a few months in late-state cancers, and then the cancers develop resistance," said Tao, whose findings were published online early in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "In the beginning, the cell cannot adjust and it dies. In later stages, the cells find a way. Cancer cells find a way to survive. You block one pathway, and they find another."

The kinase-protein maps Tao is creating identify kinases and the direct protein targets they phosphorylate. His method weeds out other proteins that are not direct targets, but are later phosphorylated as part of a cascade of reactions that begins when direct target proteins are phosphorylated.

Tao compared cells with and without kinases. The phosphoproteins present only when a kinase was present were considered possible targets. Further, the proteins were dephosphorylated, meaning the phosphate groups that had been added by kinases were removed.

The kinase was then re-introduced, and those proteins that accepted phosphate groups from the kinase were deemed direct targets of that kinase. With that information, drugmakers could tailor kinase-inhibiting drugs to ensure that the drug would stop kinases from reaching all potential targets, making the drugs more effective.

"If you understand the network, you can block all the pathways to cure the cancer," Tao said.
Tao's research findings focused on the SYK kinase, which is involved in leukemia and breast cancers. He plans to study other kinases, as well as mutated kinases, to understand whether they have different protein targets.

Tao collaborated with Robert Geahlen, a professor in medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Purdue. The National Institutes of Health funded the research.

Writer: Brian Wallheimer, 765-496-2050,
Source: Andy Tao, 765-494-9605,
Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

Brian Wallheimer | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht ‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Calcium Induces Chronic Lung Infections
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>