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A*STAR scientists score 'hat-trick' against cancer
Date:7/13/2010

L-3's expression control as it uncovers another piece of the puzzle surrounding one of the most important proteins involved in cancer."

Their findings were praised by Prof Neal Copeland, Executive Director of IMCB, who said, "This study by Drs Zeng and Vardy is a fine example of how basic research contributes to understanding processes that lead to metastasis, perhaps the most devastating aspect of cancer. There are many facets of the disease which still remain obscure at the cellular and molecular level, and this sort of painstaking research is needed in the fight against cancer."

Dr Zeng aims to undertake more research to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms surrounding PRL-3. "PRL-3's association with diverse human cancers makes it an excellent therapeutic target. An increased understanding of PRL-3 will definitely help us develop strategies to block PRL-3 expression or inhibit its activity and thus prevent it from promoting cancer metastasis, allowing us to deal a heavy blow to this most dreaded human disease," added Dr Zeng.

Shortening the life of breast cancer

Another team of scientists from IMCB led by Dr Vinay Tergaonkar have discovered a protein, Rap1, which plays an important role in breast cancer. Their work, published in Nature Cell Biology showed that the presence and abundance of Rap1 could serve as biomarkers of various human illnesses including breast cancer. They also found that Rap1 could protect cancer cells from self-programmed cell death and that Rap1 levels in breast tumours might be responsible for cancer cell metastasis, making the protein an excellent target for cancer therapies.

A more sensitive test for cervical cancer

The third team of scientists led by Dr Francoise Thierry of IMB discovered that the human papillomavirus (HPV) E2 protein could be used for the early detection of HPV . Their work, published in Cancer Research, is a step forward in the fight against cer
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Contact: Joshua Tan
joshua_tan@a-star.edu.sg
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

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