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Researchers discover cancer suppressing molecule

Researchers discover cancer suppressing molecule

Researchers at the University of Cambridge discovered a molecule that suppresses cancer growth. The molecule, named FDI-6, ensures that transcription factor FOXM1 is not able to bind to DNA. The transcriptional downregulation ensures that tumor growth is suppressed. This study could open the door to new treatment methods for cancer. The results are published in the journal Nature Communications.

Transcriptions factors aid DNA in the cell to produce specific proteins at specific times. These transcription processes are interrupted in cancer cells, which can cause cancer growth. 

Earlier research showed that a specific transcription factor, named FOXM1, is overproduced in breast- and lung cancercells. It has been shown that FOMX1 controles many genes that play a role in the growth of cancer. Till now, transcription factors were considered as ‘undruggable’, but researchers recently found a way to interrupt the transcripitonal process by using ‘small molecule intervention’.

Prof. Shankar Balaubramanian and his colleagues analyzed 54.000 molecules using ‘high-throughput screening’. Six of these molecules were identified to be able to influence the FOXM1-DNA interaction. One of these molecules, FDI-6, functions as main suppressor and ensures that FOXM1 cannot bind to DNA. FDI-6 suppresses for example the genes in breast cancer cells which suppresses cancer growth. 

Researchers conclude that FDI-6 is a valuable molecule to understand cancer growth caused via FOXM1. This study could therefore lead to the development of a drug that is able to intervene in transcriptional processes to supress cancer growth.

Source: Nature Communications

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