April 1, 2011

New Target for Lung Cancer

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Researchers have identified a new therapeutic target for lung cancer. A variant of the protein AIMP2 is highly expressed in lung cancer cells.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and is a leading cause of death from cancer. Despite treatment options such as surgery, radiation and drugs, the survival rate for patients with lung cancer has not improved much over the past few decades.

Previously, researchers found the protein AIMP2 acted as a tumor-suppressor by interacting with another oncosuppressor known as p53. This current study showed that a variant of AIMP2 is highly expressed in human lung cancer cells. AIMP2-DX2 compromises the tumor-suppressing activity of AIMP2 by binding to p53. Scientists also found that the suppression of AIMP2-DX2 slowed tumor growth, which suggests this could be an exciting new therapeutic target.

Researchers believe these findings could offer an opportunity to create new innovative cancer drugs as well as presenting a new target that could also be applied to other cancers.

SOURCE: PLoS Genetics, March 31, 2011