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CSHL scientists identify a new strategy for interfering with a potent cancer-causing gene
Date:2/11/2013

earchers were able to decrease leukemia cell proliferation in living mice, extending their lifespan.

Upon closer examination, the team realized that by targeting RNF20 they prevent MLL-fusion proteins from being able to work. "When we reduce the levels of RNF20 in leukemia cells, they revert back to being more like normal blood cells", says Shinpei Kawaoka, a postdoc in the Vakoc lab who also was involved in the study.

Vakoc's team proposes a model in which leukemia cells of the MLL-rearranged subtype come to rely on RNF20 to maintain their gene expression program, implicating it as a potential therapeutic target. Small-molecule drugs that target other proteins involved in regulating ubiquitin tags already exist so it is possible that drugs targeting RNF20 could be developed in the future for the treatment of MLL-rearranged leukemia.


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Contact: Edward Brydon
ebrydon@cshl.edu
516-367-6822
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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