Newly discovered protein could be an important target to prevent prostate cancer metastases

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have discovered that the protein BRD4 could be an important new target to prevent castration-resistant prostate cancer metastases.

Castration-resistant prostate cancer is a highly aggressive form of prostate cancer that often leads to the development of lethal metastases that kills more than 31,000 American men every year. The standard of care treatment for these patients typically includes disruption of androgen receptor signaling with drugs called 'androgen deprivation therapy.'

While effective for an average of two-three years, this therapy eventually fails to impede cancer progression, due to acquired resistance to the drugs. Patients then develop metastases and curing the cancer is no longer possible.

Under the direction of BUSM's Gerald V. Denis PhD, associate professor of medicine and pharmacology, researchers have long studied a family of three closely related proteins, called BET bromodomain proteins, composed of BRD2, BRD3 and BRD4, which regulate gene expression. BUSM researchers were the first (in the 1990s) to show how these proteins function in human cancer.

The researchers examined prostate cancer cell lines that model common forms of prostate cancer that are resistant to androgen deprivation therapy and found that BRD4, but not similar family members BRD2 or BRD3, regulates the expression of key proteins that directly contribute to prostate cancer disease progression.

These findings are novel because, until now, it was not clear which of the BET family of proteins regulate transcriptional programs, or how they influence prostate cancer cell morphology (shape and polarity), motility (the ability to move independently) and invasiveness, each of which are associated with the ability to metastasize."

Jordan Shafran, PhD, Study First Author and Researcher, Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine

According to the researchers, these findings are significant because current therapeutic options for castration-resistant prostate cancer are limited and focus primarily on suppressing prostate tumor cells that rely on androgen receptor signaling.

"As prostate tumor cells become resistant to therapy, their reliance on androgen receptor signaling is reduced and alternative signaling mechanisms are activated. Out of this complex mixture, the metastatic cells arise," added Denis, the corresponding author.

The researchers believe it is imperative to identify new targets that regulate the expression of critical transcription factors across diverse prostate cancer cell types in order to block migration and invasion and eventual metastasis.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoLifeSciences.
Post a new comment
Post
Azthena logo

AZoM.com powered by Azthena AI

Your AI Assistant finding answers from trusted AZoM content

Your AI Powered Scientific Assistant

Hi, I'm Azthena, you can trust me to find commercial scientific answers from AZoNetwork.com.

A few things you need to know before we start. Please read and accept to continue.

  • Use of “Azthena” is subject to the terms and conditions of use as set out by OpenAI.
  • Content provided on any AZoNetwork sites are subject to the site Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • Large Language Models can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

Great. Ask your question.

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
SOX17 Gene Identified as Critical for Immune Evasion in Early-Stage Colon Cancer