IMIM: Advances in blood stem cell biology

IMIM: Advances in blood stem cell biology

News from IMIM-Hospital del Mar

Researchers from the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) have proven that protein PARP2 plays a key role in maintaining the integrity of the genome of blood stem cells, also known as haematopoietic cells. These results may prove useful to design new drugs and to improve therapeutic strategies based on radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

This study, lead by Dr. José Yélamos, the coordinator of the IMIM Poly (ADP-ribose) Polymerases Group and published in the Blood journal, is part of the group’s general research line with the aim of clarifying the specific functions in the response to the damage to the DNA of a group of proteins within the PARP family (PARP-1, PARP-2 and PARP-3), which are activated as a response to this alteration and assess their usefulness as therapeutic targets for cancer. Even if today there is a great interest in the use of anti-cancer compounds that act on PARP-family proteins, until now all available inhibitors used in clinical trials lack the specificity for each of the proteins in this family.

According to José Yélamos “The specific inhibition of PARP-2 could be useful to increase the sensitivity of cancer stem cells to radiotherapy while the specific inhibition of PARP-1 could reduce the toxicity and avoid failure in bone marrow”.

More information:
IMIM press release

PARP-2 is required to maintain hematopoiesis following sublethal Y-irradiation in mice”. Jordi Farrés, Juan Martín-Caballero, Carlos Martínez, Juan J. Lozano, Laura Llacuna, Coral Ampurdanés, Cristina Ruiz-Herguido, Françoise Dantzer, Valérie Schreiber, Andreas Villunger, Anna Bigas and José Yélamos. Doi:10.1182/blood-2012-12-472845