Chimeric peptides for the treatment of cancer
Inventors: David Williams, Yi Zheng
Invention Types: Therapeutics
Research Areas: Internal Medicine, Oncology/Hematology
Keywords: Drug Discovery, Large MoleculeFor More Information Contact: Yen, Alan
Rho GTPases are members of the Ras superfamily and act as molecular switches to control multiple cell processes, such as migration, phagocytosis, gene transcription, cell cycle progression, and apoptosis via activation of multiple kinase pathways. It has become increasingly clear that Rho proteins play important roles in many aspects of cancer development and each member of the Rho family may be involved to a different extent at different tumor progression stages.
Dr. Williams has discovered chimeric peptide or fusion protein that includes a RhoGAP activity domain and one specificity domain that targets a specific Rho protein. He has found that the fusion proteins can be used to inhibit any GTPase activity within a cell and are particularly advantageous for the treatment of cancer. This invention focuses on the chimeric peptides capable of regulating GTPases, and to methods of targeting individual GTPases by using GTPase-activating proteins. Dr. Williams has also found that nucleic acid molecules and the encoded GTPase activating proteins, can be used in the in the characterization, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cell signaling, immune, and cell proliferative disorders, particularly cancer. In short, Dr. Williams has discovered methods of targeting individual GTPases by using GTPase-activating proteins.
Protein-based therapeutic for the treatment of cancers and other GTPase-related diseases
Recent studies of primary human tumors revealed that many Rho GTPases, including RhoA and RhoC, are highly expressed in a variety of cancer types such as colon, lung, testicular germ cell, head and neck squamous cellcarcinoma, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, and inflammatory breast, and in some cases, the Rho protein upregulation and/or overexpression correlates with poor prognosis. These observations help put Rho proteins in a lineup of potential molecular targets for anti-cancer therapy. |
Current work in the Williams' lab includes dissecting the upstream activators and downstream effectors of Rho GTPase in hematopoietic stem cells.
Exclusive License or Sponsored Research Opportunity
Key Publications: Published patent #US 2009/0203617 A1