Williams Cancer Institute

COOLING CANCER CELLS: KU70 PROTEIN UNVEILS A NEW FRONTIER IN COLON CANCER TREATMENT

COOLING CANCER CELLS: KU70 PROTEIN UNVEILS A NEW FRONTIER IN COLON CANCER TREATMENT


Colon cancer, ranked as the fourth most diagnosed cancer in Australia, poses a significant health challenge. Dr. Abhimanu Pandey, the lead author of the study, highlights the crucial role of a protein called Ku70 in detecting signs of damaged DNA, which can transform healthy cells into cancer cells. The research reveals Ku70’s ability to “cool down” cancer cells, preventing their aggression and spread throughout the body, essentially deactivating them and keeping them in a latent state.

Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) have discovered a novel strategy to combat colon cancer by manipulating this protein in the immune system. Published in Science Advances, this research presents a potential game-changer in the fight against a disease that claims over 100 lives every week in Australia, even though 90% of cases can be successfully treated if detected early.

The study suggests that Ku70 can be activated like a light switch through a combination of new and existing drugs. In its activated state, the protein acts as a surveillance system, effectively cleaning damaged DNA and neutralizing the potential threat of cancer cells.

ANU’s research provides a promising avenue to advance our understanding of colon cancer and underscores the importance of surveillance, early detection, and ongoing research efforts in the global fight against cancer. As we approach World Cancer Day, these findings serve as a beacon of hope for a future where innovative therapies pave the way for improved outcomes and enhanced cancer prevention strategies.

Link: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-01-cancer-cooling-protein-bowel-ice.html
https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.adh3409

Reference: Pandey, A., Shen, C., Feng, S., Enosi Tuipulotu, D., Ngo, C., Liu, C., Kurera, M., Mathur, A., Venkataraman, S., Zhang, J., Talaulikar, D., Song, R., Wong, J. J.-L., Teoh, N., Kaakoush, N. O., & Man, S. M. (2024). Ku70 senses cytosolic DNA and assembles a tumor-suppressive signalosome. Science Advances, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.adh3409

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