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Blocking the critical structure that lets cancer cells move -- their feet
Date:12/16/2010

cerous cells to escape through on their way to becoming a metastasis, she said.

The studies began because the researchers knew that Abl kinases can directly connect with actin, a filament-like protein that cells use to move. These kinases also seem to target a number of actin-regulatory proteins that are found in invadopodia, "so we thought it might be interesting to see what would happen if we blocked the activity of these kinases," Pendergast said. "We expected a mild effect, but were surprised by the striking effect we saw."

Using fluorescent proteins for imaging purposes, the team observed that when the kinase activity was blocked, the cancer cell "feet" then disappeared as well.

Pendergast said the pharmacologic agents used to block the Abl kinases are FDA-approved for use in leukemia (imatinib), which means it may not be hard to win their approval for new applications.


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Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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