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Hsp90 Inhibitors Allow Small Cell Lung Cancer To Die

 
  July, 12 2007 8:23
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
Scientists describe the role played by a protective protein called Hsp90 in maintaining the malignant state of small cell lung cancer cells, in a report in the August 2007 issue of Nature Chemical Biology.

Hsp90 is a chaperone protein that helps cellular proteins fold and mature. This protective function can also stabilise oncogenic proteins in cancer cells, exacerbating their cancer-causing potential. Gabriela Chiosis and colleagues show that Hsp90 plays a particularly important role in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells by inhibiting apoptosis, the programmed destruction of cells. The results in SCLC cell lines help explain why SCLC tumours are so malignant, resulting in relapses even after responding well to chemotherapy.

Various selective compounds identified by the authors are potential candidates for treating SCLC patients in the future, since they allow SCLC to overcome their apoptosis defects. Further studies should help to explore this possibility.

Author contact:

Gabriela Chiosis (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA)
E-mail: chiosisg@mskcc.org

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Chemical Biology press release.



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