Herstatin blocks signaling inside cells that leads to deadly glioblastoma growth
A protein developed by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University blocks the growth of glioblastoma, an aggressive and deadly brain tumor, in laboratory rats, a new study shows. Herstatin inhibits the activation of a family of enzymes responsible for signaling inside tumor cells that tells the cells to proliferate and display other malignant properties, said Gail Clinton, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the OHSU School of Medicine who co-authored the study appearing this month in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. "The growth is completely blocked in the intracranial model," said Clinton, a member of the OHSU Cancer Institute.
Over-expression of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors results in a cascade of signals in the glioblastoma cells that drives their growth. But herstatin, a naturally occurring product, blocks growth of the cells by binding to EGF receptors and turning signaling off. Clinton said human clinical trials for herstatin could begin as early as next year. In fact, the technology is part of a patent portfolio that OHSU has licensed exclusively to San Francisco-based pharmaceutical company Receptor BioLogix Inc., which is developing herstatin as a cancer therapeutic for a variety of cancer types under the name Dimercept.
Jonathan Modie | EurekAlert!
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