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Moffitt Cancer Center researchers find potential target for treating metastatic cancer
Date:12/13/2011

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2011) Finding ways to counteract or disrupt the invasive nature of cancer cells, called "metastasis," has been a long-term goal of cancer researchers. Now, researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., have identified an interactive pathway that regulates metastases in some cancers that may be vulnerable to chemical targeting in order to prevent cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth.

Ongoing collaboration by researchers in Moffitt's Departments of Tumor Biology and Drug Discovery has revealed the potential for combating metastatic disease by disrupting the interaction between the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (Rb) and Raf-1 (a gene with a potential to cause cancer) with RRD-251, a selective, chemical disrupter of Rb-Raf-1 interaction.

Their recent study, aimed at understanding the association between Rb-Raf-1 and genes known to be over-expressed in metastatic non-small lung cancer, was published in the recent issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. This work, using a mouse model, was a continuation of the researchers' study of RRD-251's successful disruption of Rb-Raf-1 interaction in metastatic melanoma in test mice, a study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics in 2010.

"The Rb gene is mutated in a variety of cancers," said study corresponding author Srikumar P. Chellappan, Ph.D., chair of Moffitt's Department of Tumor Biology and scientific director of the National Functional Genomics Center. "Our earlier studies have shown that Raf-1 interacts with Rb early in the cell cycle and facilitates its inactivation."

The ongoing work of Chellappan and his colleagues in Moffitt's Department of Tumor Biology focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which external signals regulate cell proliferation and how a loss of regulation may cause cancer. They work extensively with the Rb protein, the Raf-1 signaling molecule, and E2Fs, g
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Contact: Ferdie De Vega
Ferdinand.DeVega@moffitt.org
813-745-7858
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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