UC San Diego Cancer Researchers Identify Novel Drug Target For Multiple Tumor Types
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Novel Drug Target For Multiple Tumor Types By UC San Diego Researchers

A group of Scientists has identified an enzyme which plays a key role in remodeling the plasma membrane of multiple cancer cell types that are required for both survivals of tumors and also their uncontrolled enlargement. The study was led by chief researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at UC San Diego. The study was published in Cell Metabolism and suggests a possible target for new drugs.

“Cancers are distinguished not only by significant changes in their genomes but also by profound shifts in how they consume and use nutrition to propel rapid tumor development,” said senior author Paul S. Mischel. How can these varied aspects fit together and will they be cared for, for the benefit of patients”

In the new study, conducted in collaboration with Benjamin Cravatt, PhD, professor at Scripps Research, and led by original author Junfeng Bi, PhD, in Mischel’s lab, researchers identified a molecule called LPCAT1, whose degrees increase in cancer and which plays a key role in tumor growth by altering the phospholipid composition of the cancer cells’ plasma cells, allowing amplified and mutated growth factor signs to spur tumor growth.

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With no LPCAT1, tumors can’t survive. When researchers genetically depleted LPCAT1 in a number of kinds of cancer in mice, such as exceptionally lethal glioblastomas (mind ) and aggressive lung cancer, malignancies shrank dramatically and survival times improved.

The findings demonstrate that LPCAT1 enzyme is a key enzyme that gets dysregulated in cancer, linking common genetic alterations in tumors with changes in their metabolism to drive aggressive tumor growth.

“Advances in DNA sequencing technology have reshaped our comprehension of the molecular basis of cancer, implying a new and more effective method of treating cancer patients,” stated Mischel. “However, to date, precision oncology has to benefit many patients, motivating a deeper search into knowing how genetic alterations in tumors alter the way cancer cells act, and potentially unlocking new techniques to more effectively treat patients.

“These results also imply that LPCAT1 might be a really persuasive new drug target in a wide array of cancer types.”

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