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Cancers' sweet tooth may be weakness
Date:11/18/2009

form of PKM2 that is not sensitive to tyrosine kinases into cancer cells forces them to grow slower and be more dependent on oxygen, they found.

Because the active form of PKM2 consists of four protein molecules stuck together, having a tyrosine kinase flip the "off" switch on one molecule can dampen the activity for the others.

"People knew that tyrosine kinases might modify PKM2 for decades but they didn't think it mattered," Chen says. "We showed that such a modification is important and you even don't need that much modification of PKM2 to make a difference in the cells' metabolism."

PKM2 could be a good drug target, because both inhibiting it or activating it can slow down cancer cell growth. Biotechnology companies are already searching for ways to do so, Chen says.


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Contact: Vince Dollard
vdollar@emory.edu
404-778-4580
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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