Navigation Links
UCSD researchers identify potential new drug target for chronic leukemia

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the Moores UCSD Cancer Center have discovered what could be a novel drug target for an often difficult-to-treat form of leukemia. The investigators have identified a unique "signature" or pattern of a specific family of enzymes in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common form of adult leukemia.

Paul Insel, M.D., professor of pharmacology and medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and his co-workers compared white blood cells in patients with CLL to those of healthy adults. They found that one form of the group of enzymes, collectively known as cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, was 10 times higher in CLL patients than in normal individuals. The specific type of enzyme, phosphodiesterase 7B (PDE7B), controls the levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP), a molecule that can promote programmed cell death, a process that is defective in CLL. The team reports its findings this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Whereas most cancers have out-of-control cell growth, CLL is characterized by an overabundance of white blood cells that do not die when they should, Insel explained.

The scientists subsequently tested the effects of drugs that blocked PDE7B in CLL cells, and found that this raised cAMP levels and caused CLL cells to undergo cell death. He explained that since PDE7B degrades cAMP, blocking PDE7B in essence takes the clamp off of programmed cell death, enabling CLL cells to die.

"PDE7B is thus a new drug target for CLL," he said. "We have preliminary data from patient samples studied in the laboratory showing that we can increase the killing of CLL cells even more if we block PDE7B and also add other drugs used to treat CLL."

He noted that a test for PDE7B might also potentially be used as a way to detect CLL, though this has yet to be proven. CLL, which usually strikes adults over age 35, has two major forms. One form progresses slowly, with few symptoms for years, and can be difficult to detect. The other form is more aggressive and dangerous. No one knows what makes one form different from the other. Current therapies have limited effectiveness, especially once the disease is in its aggressive phase.

The researchers are planning to screen potential drugs to treat CLL based on the PDE7B-cAMP connection. They are also exploring other potential treatment strategies to increase cAMP or disrupt its breakdown.

"We think that CLL cells may have found ways to help keep themselves alive by preventing cAMP from increasing," Insel said. "This paper provides a validation of the importance of the cAMP pathway as a target for drugs that might be used to treat CLL."


Contact: Steve Benowitz
University of California - San Diego

Related medicine news :

1. USC researchers identify novel approach for suppressing prostate cancer development
2. Researchers identify new leprosy bacterium
3. UT Southwestern researchers develop new strategy for broad spectrum anti-viral drugs
4. Researchers discover strategy for predicting the immunity of vaccines
5. Ability to quit smoking may depend on ADHD symptoms, Columbia researchers find
6. Researchers ID Suite of Genes in Aging Process
7. Researchers: Ban on fast food TV advertising would reverse childhood obesity trends
8. Brigham and Womens Researchers Partner with Vocantas to use CallAssure in Clinical Research Study
9. Leeds researchers reshape the future of drug discovery
10. UNC researchers find clue to stopping breast-cancer metastasis
11. U of U researchers to use patients own stem cells to treat heart failure
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort to ... treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain management ... (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of ... AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway ... call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting ... restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. ... articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for ... unmet needs, today announced the closing of its ... of common stock, at the public offering price ... in the offering were offered by GBT. GBT ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has ... 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their ... Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart ... electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits ... structures such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), a ... now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, thanks ... Inc. Patients are no longer limited to having ... PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... the comfort of her own home. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: