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New Developments in Treating Prostate Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, there were more than 192,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2009, causing more than 27,000 deaths. It is the most common form of cancer in men. Drugs to treat this cancer, targeted a protein called androgen receptor. The role of another protein called steroid receptor coactivator-3 (SRC3) was believed to be associated with the growth of breast cancer initially. Now, researchers at the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) report that there is a nexus between these seemingly unrelated proteins which are responsible for the initiation and development of prostate cancer in men. The results of these findings are published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. This article tries to gain further insight on this topic.

Knowledge Gained from Research:

  • According to the principal researchers of this study, prostate cancer treatment techniques like Anti-androgen therapies were becoming less effective over time.
  • This lead to a need for initiating new research studies for developing a brand new treatment technique altogether.
  • Scientists recently discovered that SCR3 has a key role to play in the development of prostate cancer in addition to its role in breast cancer development.
  • However, the mechanism which related androgen receptor and SCR3 remained unclear mostly.
  • The researchers knew for a fact that understanding this mechanism better can lead to development of new treatment techniques which can target the interaction to inhibit the ailment.
  • Androgen receptor gets activated by hormones. The hormones are naturally present chemical substances which help the cells in our body to function effectively.
  • After its activation, androgen receptor gets attached to the DNA molecules inside the cell nucleus.
  • The chemical instructions called genes followed by the cells are made up of these DNA molecules.
  • As a result, Androgen receptor affects the normal functioning of the cells too.
  • The research tried to understand the little known interaction mechanism between androgen receptor and its coactivator.
  • For this purpose, the researchers used certain molecular biology techniques like peptide profiling to discover the interaction.
  • The study determined the crystal structures which finally revealed the interaction between SRC3 and androgen receptor at the molecular level.
  • Understanding of the crystal structures can now be used to develop effective treatments based on disturbing the interaction between these proteins.

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