Exploiting SADS To Kill Cancer Cells
One of the ways in which the body is able to destroy mutated or infected cells is through a process known as programmed cell death (apoptosis). Some details of this mechanism of cell destruction have been elucidated in recent years and now scientists at Daiichi Pharmaceutical have uncovered another part of the apoptosis puzzle that may lead to the development of a therapy for colon cancer.
Atsushi Suzuki and colleagues (Nature Medicine, Vol. 7, Issue 1, 01 Jan 2001) have identified a new protein called small accelerator for death signaling (SADS) which enhances apoptosis via the major "death receptor" called Fas. SADS appears to work by recruiting additional proteins and enzymes, namely FADD and procaspase-8 to the Fas complex.
Meanwhile, colon cancer patients show mutations or deletions in SADS and the scientists showed that restoring SADS expression to a human colon cancer cell line causes Fas-mediated cell death. This effect could be exploited to become a future form of gene therapy.
Hiroshi Takahashi of Massachusetts General Hospital discusses the new SADS molecule in an accompanying News & Views article.
Dr. Atsushi Suzuki
Project for the Cell Death Research
Basic Technology Research Laboratory
Daiichi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Tokyo R&D Center
Kitakasai 1-16-13, Edogawa-ku
Dr. Hiroshi Takahashi
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Co-director, Immunology Core
Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (CSIBD)
Massachusetts General Hospital
Gastrointestinal Unit, Jackson 7
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: +1 617 724 7566
(C) Nature Medicine press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza