Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UC San Diego cancer scientists identify new drug target for multiple tumor types

12.07.2019

A dysfunctional enzyme involved in building cancer cell membranes helps fuel tumor growth; when it's disabled or depleted in mouse models, tumors shrank significantly

A research team headed by scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at UC San Diego has identified an enzyme involved in remodeling the plasma membrane of multiple cancer cell types that is critical to both survival of tumors and their uncontrolled growth.


A false color electron micrograph of two cancer cells.

Image courtesy of Thomas Deerinck, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, UC San Diego.

The finding, published in the July 11, 2019 issue of Cell Metabolism, suggests a potential target for new drugs.

"Cancers are characterized not only by major changes in their genomes, but also by profound shifts in how they take up and utilize nutrients to propel rapid tumor growth," said senior author Paul S. Mischel, MD, professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Ludwig member. "How do these diverse aspects fit together and can they be taken advantage of, for the benefit of patients?"

In the new study, conducted in collaboration with Benjamin Cravatt, PhD, professor at Scripps Research, and led by first author Junfeng Bi, PhD, in Mischel's lab, researchers identified an enzyme called LPCAT1, whose levels increase in cancer and which plays a key role in tumor growth by changing the phospholipid composition of the cancer cells' plasma membrane, allowing amplified and mutated growth factor signals to spur tumor growth.

Without LPCAT1, tumors cannot survive. When researchers genetically depleted LPCAT1 in multiple types of cancer in mice, including highly lethal glioblastomas (brain) and an aggressive lung cancer, malignancies shrank dramatically and survival times improved.

The results, wrote the authors, demonstrate that LPCAT1 is an important enzyme that becomes dysregulated in cancer, linking common genetic alterations in tumors with changes in their metabolism to drive aggressive tumor growth."

"Advances in DNA sequencing technologies have reshaped our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer, suggesting a new and more effective way of treating cancer patients," said Mischel. "However, to date, precision oncology has yet to benefit many patients, motivating a deeper search into understanding how genetic alterations in tumors change the way cancer cells behave, and potentially unlocking new ways to more effectively treat patients.

"These results also suggest that LPCAT1 may be a very compelling new drug target in a wide variety of cancer types."

###

Co-authors include: Taka-Aki Ichu and Alex Reed, Skaggs Research; Ciro Zanca, Huijun Yang, Sudhir Chowdhry, Kristen M. Turner, Wenjing Zhang and Sihan Wu, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research; Wei Zhang, Oswald Quehenberger, Jeremy N. Rich, Webster K. Cavenee and Frank B. Furnari, UC San Diego; Yuchao Gu and Genaro R. Villa, Ludwig and UCLA; Shiro Ikegami, Chiba University; William H. Yong, Harley I. Kornblum, and Timothy F. Cloughesy, UCLA.

Disclosure: Paul Mischel is co-founder of Pretzel Therapeutics. He has equity and serves as a consultant for the company. He also did one-time consultation for Abide Therapeutics.

Media Contact

Scott LaFee
slafee@ucsd.edu
858-249-0456

 @UCSanDiego

http://www.ucsd.edu 

Scott LaFee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2019.06.014

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Candidate Ebola vaccine still effective when highly diluted, macaque study finds
21.10.2019 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Autism spectrum disorder risk linked to insufficient placental steroid
21.10.2019 | Children's National Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

Im Focus: Controlling superconducting regions within an exotic metal

Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer LBF and BAM develop faster procedure for flame-retardant plastics

21.10.2019 | Materials Sciences

For EVs with higher range: Take greater advantage of the potential offered by lightweight construction materials

21.10.2019 | Materials Sciences

Benefit and risk: Meta-analysis draws a heterogeneous picture of drug-coated balloon angioplasty

21.10.2019 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>