cancer cells image
Gene Suppresses Cancer, Part 2 of 2
(See previous post for part one.)
INCREASED PAD4 ENZYMES WITH BREAST, LUNG AND BONE CANCERS
One situation in which the PAD4 enzyme is markedly increased is in patients with certain cancers, such as breast, lung, and bone cancers. “We know that the PAD4 gene acts to silence tumor-suppressor genes,” said Wang. “So we theorized that by inhibiting the enzyme that this gene produces, the ‘good guys’ — the tumor-suppressor genes — would do a better job at destroying cancerous tissue and allowing the body to heal.”
ENZYME INHIBITORS AS EFFECTIVE AS CHEMO DRUG DOXORUBICIN
To test their theory, Wang and his colleagues treated mice that had cancerous tumors with a molecule to inhibit the PAD4 enzyme. They found that, especially when combined with additional enzyme inhibitors, the treatment worked as effectively as the most-commonly-used chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin, which shrinks tumors by about 70 percent.
BUT ENZYMES LESS DAMAGING TO HEALTHY CELLS
Most striking, however, was that the PAD4 enzyme-inhibition strategy caused significantly less damage to healthy tissues [and therefore there should be less] terrible side effects such as weight loss, nausea, and hair loss.
Because the PAD4 treatment appears to be less toxic, it could be an excellent alternative to current chemotherapy treatments.”
This research was funded by the
- National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health and a
- Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute Pilot Grant Award to Wang and Chen.
- Yuji Wang,
- Pingxin Li,
- Shu Wang,
- Jing Hu,
- Megan Fisher,
- Kira Oshaben,
- Jianhui Wu,
- Na Zhao, and
- Ying Gu