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Breakthrough in how pancreatic cancer cells ingest nutrients points to new drug target
Date:5/13/2013

se cells.

The discovery of a "protein eating" mechanism unique to some cancer cells sets the stage for drugs that could block the engulfing process without causing collateral damage to healthy cells and suggests new ways to ferry chemotherapeutic cargo into the heart of cancer cells.

"This work offers up a completely different way to target cancer metabolism," says lead principal investigator of the study Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, senior vice president and vice dean for Science, chief scientific officer and professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, NYU Langone Medical Center, who first identified macropinocytosis in Ras-transformed cancer cells. "It's exciting to think that we can cause the demise of some cancer cells simply by blocking this nutrient delivery process."

Crucial to the team's findings is the work of Matthew G. Vander Heiden, assistant professor of biology at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and Christian Metallo, assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of California at San Diego, who characterized how Ras cells derive energy from the constituent amino acids released after protein engulfment.


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Contact: Christopher Rucas
Christopher.Rucas@nyumc.org
212-404-3525
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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