Proteomics screen identifies novel prostate cancer target
The Burnham Institutes Jeffrey Smith, Ph.D. has discovered that orlistat, commonly prescribed as an anti-obesity drug, has a positive side-effect: it inhibits cancer growth. Dr. Smith made this discovery using an activity-based proteomics screening technique developed in his laboratory that makes it possible to identify active targets and simultaneously screen for their inhibitors. These results will be published in the journal Cancer Research on March 15.
The metabolism of a tumor cell is different from its normal counterpart cell. Scientists have long suspected that metabolism is connected to tumor progression. Dr. Smith and co-workers designed a proteomics screen based on monitoring the activity of a family of enzymes--serine hydrolyases--involved in metabolism. They used their screen to compare normal prostate cells with prostate cancer cells and discovered that the prostate cancer cells are affected by an increased activity of fatty acid synthase. Fatty acid synthase is the enzyme that converts dietary carbohydrate to fat.
Nancy Beddingfield | EurekAlert!
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