CEXS-UPF: Researchers find a possible new target to act over one of the most important oncogenes

CEXS-UPF: Researchers find a possible new target to act over one of the most important oncogenes

News from CEXS-UPF

Oncogene MYC participates in many types of cancer, some of them very aggressive. For this reason, the researchers suspect that controlling its activity could open new ways for new treatments, but MYC is an especially complex oncogene and has resisted therapeutic manipulation until now. Research led by Paco Real, researcher at the Cell Biology Unit of the DCEXS and leader of the Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), together with Víctor J. Sánchez-Arévalo, also member of the Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group, has achieved to identify a protein that is essential for MYC to produce cancer in mouse models, concluding that it could be a new target for future antitumor drugs. The study, published this January in Nature Communications, employs techniques of massive data analysis to study the behavior of MYC in networks formed by hundreds of genes.

According to Paco Real, "MYC is actually a general driver for the cell activity. It is one of the few genes that, when removed, becomes the cell unviable". It is known that, when deregulated, MYC promotes the formation of multiple types of cancer -pancreas, ovary, colon, lymphoma, among others-. The gene MYC is altered in more than half of the human cancers, and is often associated to very aggressive tumors.This is why many groups seek a way to act over MYC, with the idea that inhibiting it would constitute a new way to attack cancer. However, the complexity of its functioning makes this oncogene a difficult target.

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Reference work:
Laia Richart, Enrique Carrillo-de Santa Pau, Ana Río-Machín, Mónica P. de Andrés, Juan C. Cigudosa, Víctor J. Sánchez-Arévalo Lobo, Francisco X. Real. BPTF is required for c-MYC transcriptional activity and in vivo tumorigenesis. Nature Communications Enero 2016