News from CRG
In the study, conducted with animal models and patients samples, they observed that this protein plays a key role in the growth of cancer cells. The research was coordinated by Cristina Fillat, head of the IDIBAPS’ Gene and Cancer Therapy Group, and Susana de la Luna, head of the Gene signalling and regulation group at the CRG.
Although pancreatic tumours are relatively infrequent tumours, the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma accounts for 90% of all pancreatic tumours and it is the fourth case of death by cancer in the world. It is a very aggressive tumour with a poor prognosis with current treatments. Targeted therapies may offer a new path towards more effective strategies.
For the study published in Gut journal, the researchers analysed the expression pattern of the DYRK1A protein in animal models and in patient samples. This protein is a kinase protein, which regulates different signalling pathways and whose abnormal activation plays a key role in cancer progression. The results show that DYRK1A presents elevated expression in the pancreatic cancer studied and that this high expression is correlated to the expression of the cancer cell membrane receptor, c-MET.
“This study suggests that the inhibition of DYRK1A would facilitate, through a single molecule, the degradation of c-MET and EGFR, thus reducing their tumorigenic activity”, concludes Cristina Fillat.
Luna J, Boni J, Cuatrecasas M, et al "DYRK1A modulates c-MET in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma to drive tumour growth” Gut(2018). doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2018-316128