Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Researchers at UT Southwestern Identify Novel Class of Drugs for Prostate Cancers

Published: Friday, July 05, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, July 05, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers found that they could disrupt androgen receptor signaling using peptidomimetics.

A new study on prostate cancer describes a novel class of drugs developed by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers that interrupts critical signaling needed for prostate cancer cells to grow.

In men with advanced prostate cancer, growth of cancer cells depends on androgen receptor signaling, which is driven by androgens, such as testosterone.

To thwart tumor growth, most patients with advanced prostate cancer receive drugs that block the production of androgen or block the receptor where the androgen binds.

Unfortunately, such treatments invariably fail and patients die of prostate cancer with their androgen receptor signaling still active and still promoting tumor growth.

In the new study, available online at Nature Communications, a team of researchers led by Dr. Ganesh Raj, associate professor of urology at UT Southwestern, found that they could disrupt androgen receptor signaling using a novel class of drugs called peptidomimetics.

This therapeutic agent consists of an engineered small protein-like chain designed to mimic peptides that are critical for androgen receptor function.

The peptidomimetic agents block the activity of the androgen receptor even in the presence of androgen by attacking the protein in a different spot from where the androgen binds.

“We are hopeful that this novel class of drugs will shut down androgen receptor signaling and lead to added options and increased longevity for men with advanced prostate cancer,” said Dr. Raj, the senior author of the study.

Dr. Raj compared the action that takes place to a lock and key mechanism. In prostate cancer, the androgen receptor (lock) is activated by the androgen (key) resulting in a signal that causes prostate cancer proliferation.

In advanced prostate cancer, despite drugs targeting either the lock (androgen receptor) or the key (androgen production), there can be aberrant keys that open the lock or mutated locks that are always open, resulting in cancer cell proliferation.

Instead of trying to block the lock or the key, peptidomimetics uncouple the lock and key mechanism from the proliferation signal. Thus, even with the androgen receptor activated, the prostate cancer cells do not receive the signal to proliferate and do not grow.

The researchers tested their drug in mouse and human tissue models. The novel drug proved non-toxic and prevented androgen receptor signaling in cancer cells.

The response is highly promising and suggests that peptidomimetic targeting of prostate cancer may be a viable therapeutic approach for men with advanced disease.

Further testing is needed before a drug could move to Phase 1 clinical trials that involve human participants.

“Most drugs now available to treat advanced prostate cancer improve survival rates by three or four months,” Dr. Raj said. “Our new agents may offer hope for men who fail with the current drugs.”

These findings represent the development of a first-in-class agent targeting critical interactions between proteins. Other cellular and disease processes eventually could also be targeted with peptidomimetics, the scientists said.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Researchers Develop Classification Model for Cancers Caused by KRAS
Most frequently mutated cancer gene help oncologists choose more effective cancer therapies.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
UT Southwestern Biochemist Receives NIH Early Independence Award
Dr. William Israelsen studies on hibernation may aid the fight against cancer.
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
UT Southwestern Geneticist to Receive Pearl Meister Greengard Prize
Dr. Helen Hobbs will receive the prize Nov. 17 in a ceremony at The Rockefeller University.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Physiologists Uncover a New Code at the Heart of Biology
New “code” - the speed limit of assembly - dictate the ultimate function of a given protein.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Cell that Replenishes Heart Muscle Found by UT Southwestern Researchers
Researchers devise a new cell-tracing technique to detect cells that do replenish themselves.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Researchers Find Molecular Mechanisms within Fetal Lungs that Initiate Labor
Biochemists found that steroid receptor coactivators 1 and 2 (SRC-1 and SRC-2) proteins control genes.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Researchers Discover Molecule that Accelerates Tissue Regeneration
Newly discovered molecule, SW033291 accelerate cell recovery following bone marrow transplants.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Mutations in Two Genes Linked to Familial Pulmonary Fibrosis and Telomere Shortening
PARN and RTEL1 genes strengthen the link between lung fibrosis and telomere dysfunction.
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Scientists Identify Key Receptors Behind Development of AML
Blocking ITIM-receptor signaling in combination with conventional therapies may represent a novel strategy for AML treatment.
Saturday, May 02, 2015
Study Reveals Molecular Genetic Mechanisms Driving Breast Cancer Progression
The findings are published online and in the journal Molecular Cell.
Saturday, April 04, 2015
New Cyclotron Facility at UT Southwestern
Expands research opportunities and imaging capabilities for detecting, tracking cancer.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Acetate Supplements Shown to Speed Up Cancer Growth
A major compound produced in the gut by host bacteria.
Friday, February 20, 2015
MAGE Genes Provide Insight into Optimizing Chemotherapy
UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have identified a new biomarker that could help identify patients who are more likely to respond to certain chemotherapies.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Researchers Identify ‘Achilles heel’ in Metabolic Pathway
Achilles heel could lead to new lung cancer treatments.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Study Links Deficiency of Cellular Housekeeping Gene with Aggressive Forms of Breast Cancer
Research team studies genes involved in the autophagy process and their roles in cancer, aging, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Scientific News
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Biologists Induce Flatworms to Grow Heads and Brains of Other Species
Findings shed light on role of a new kind of epigenetic signaling in evolution, could yield clues for understanding birth defects and regeneration.
Turning up the Tap on Microbes Leads to Better Protein Patenting
Mining millions of proteins could become faster and easier with a new technique that may also transform the enzyme-catalyst industry, according to University of California, Davis, researchers.
Mathematical Model Forecasts the Path of Breast Cancer
Chances of survival depend on which organs breast cancer tumors colonize first.
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Tardigrade's Are DNA Master Thieves
Tardigrades, nearly microscopic animals that can survive the harshest of environments, including outer space, hold the record for the animal that has the most foreign DNA.
The Secret Behind the Power of Bacterial Sex
Migration between different communities of bacteria is the key to the type of gene transfer that can lead to the spread of traits such as antibiotic resistance, according to researchers at Oxford University.
Farming’s in Their DNA
Ancient genomes reveal natural selection in action.
GMO Food Animals Should be Judged by Product, Not Process
In a world with a burgeoning demand for meat, milk and eggs, regulatory policies around the use of biotechnologies in agriculture need to be based on the safety and attributes of those foods rather than on the methods used to produce them, says a UC Davis animal scientist.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos