Scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in Singapore National University of Singapore have discovered a new molecular pathway that controls the development of colorectal cancer. Their results open up new therapeutic options for patients with this disease.
The researchers found that TIP60 protein known anticancer tumor suppressor breast and colorectal cancer, "cooperates" with BRD4 protein to suppress the expression of a group of genes, known as endogenous retroviruses (ERV), or "jumping genes" in tissues. ERV able to jump through the genome during its replication. They can change the sequence of other genes that encode proteins, and even lead to mutations or genetic variations in the sequence. ERV can also activate inflammation of the tissues that support tumor growth.
It was found that significantly reduced the expression of TIP60 in various tumor types, including breast cancer , colorectal cancer and malignant tumors of the cervix caused by HPV.
"We found that in tissues with reduced TIP60 protein level, the expression of ERV is not controlled, and this tissue may develop an inflammatory response, which in turn can lead to the development of tumors. Thus, TIP60 protein can potentially be used to reduce the expression of ERV and stopping tumor formation "- the researchers noted.
The discovery of new therapeutic options
When the researchers injected TIP60 in colorectal cancer cells, the growth of cells with increased expression of TIP60 slowed.
"We also found that tumors in which we have reduced the amount of TIP60 protein, were more sensitive to drugs that are currently used against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These drugs have been tested in clinical trials. We can take samples of human tumors and determine whether they have low levels of TIP60 by correlating the expression of ERV and inflammatory genes. So we can potentially identify a cohort of patients who could benefit from this treatment "- the researchers noted.
Scientists continue to study, to check whether the mechanism discovered a real impact on EEV in the tissues of the liver and breast cancer. They also negotiate with other research groups on the use of an optimized platform for the screening of drug combinations that are effective in killing tumor cells. They hope to use the maximum number of combinations of drugs aimed at HIV treatment is to stop the growth of colorectal cancer cells, as well as breast and liver cancer, have low levels of TIP60.
Command also examines the effectiveness of drugs that block the function BRD4 (protein which "cooperates" with TIP60 in the formation of tumor), in combination with antiviral drugs in the treatment of tumors.