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Researcher Identify Molecule That Induces Cancer-Killing Protein

Update Date: Sep 08, 2014 10:05 AM EDT

Researchers have identified a novel molecule named Arylquin 1 as a potent inducer of Par-4 secretion from normal cells, according to a new study. Par-4 is a protein that acts as a tumor suppressor, killing cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. 

Normal cells secrete small amounts of Par-4 naturally, but the amount is not enough to kill cancer cells. Also, it is worth noting that if Par-4 secretion is suppressed, it leads to tumor growth. 

Researchers found that Par-4 is bound to a protein called vimentin, which contributes to tumor metastasis. 

These findings have strong implications for the development of future cancer treatments, as researchers are now focusing on developing Arylquin 1 into a drug to inhibit both primary and metastatic tumors, the press release added. 

"We found that Par-4 is inactivated by pro-metastasis proteins such as vimentin," said Vivek Rangnekar, UK professor and Alfred Cohen Chair in Oncology Research in the Department of Radiation Medicine, in the press release. "This implies that by using small molecule drugs that target metastasis proteins, we may be able to both inhibit the spread of cancer while also releasing the tumor suppressor-Par-4-to then induce the death of the cancerous cells."

The study is published in Nature Chemical Biology.

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