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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Disorders in cell circuitry associated with multistage carcinogenesis: exploitable targets for cancer prevention and therapy.

The development of a malignant tumor involves the progressive acquisition of mutations and epigenetic abnormalities in multiple genes that have highly diverse functions. Some of these genes code for pathways of signal transduction that mediate the action of growth factors. The enzyme protein kinase C plays an important role in these events and in the process of tumor promotion. Therefore, we examined the effects of three inhibitors of protein kinase C, CGP 41251, RO 31-8220, and calphostin C, on human glioblastoma cells. These compounds inhibited growth and induced apoptosis; these activities were associated with a decrease in the level of CDC2 and cyclin B1/CDC2-associated kinase activity. This may explain why the treated cells accumulated in G2-M. In a separate series of studies, we examined abnormalities in cell cycle control genes in human cancer. We have found that cyclin D1 is frequently overexpressed in a variety of human cancers. Mechanistic studies indicate that cyclin D1 can play a critical role in carcinogenesis because: overexpression enhances cell transformation and tumorigenesis; introduction of an antisense cyclin D1 cDNA into either human esophageal or colon cancer cells reverts their malignant phenotype; and overexpression of cyclin D1 can enhance the amplification of other genes. The latter finding suggests that cyclin D1 can enhance genomic instability and, thereby, the process of tumor progression. Therefore, inhibitors of the function of cyclin D1 may be useful in both cancer chemoprevention and therapy. We obtained evidence for the existence of homeostatic feedback loops between cyclins D1 or E and the cell cycle inhibitory protein p27Kip1. On the basis of these and other findings, we hypothesize that, because of their disordered circuitry, cancer cells suffer from "gene addiction" and "gene hypersensitivity," disorders that might be exploited in both cancer prevention and therapy.[1]


  1. Disorders in cell circuitry associated with multistage carcinogenesis: exploitable targets for cancer prevention and therapy. Weinstein, I.B., Begemann, M., Zhou, P., Han, E.K., Sgambato, A., Doki, Y., Arber, N., Ciaparrone, M., Yamamoto, H. Clin. Cancer Res. (1997) [Pubmed]
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