New way to target the growth of breast cancer cells

Published: 2018-01-18


The recently discovered protein NUDT5 is now presented as a candidate target for development of breast cancer treatment after being demonstrated to stop breast tumor cell growth in laboratory experiments. The research was led by Thomas Helleday (Karolinska Institute/SciLifeLab) and the results are published in Nature Communications. 

Many breast cancers use hormones, such as oestrogen, to drive their growth and current treatment options aim to block the hormonal activity in order to halt the growth of the breast cancer cells. An occurring problem, however, is that tumor cells can become resistant to these treatments and develop new ways of propagating.

The current study shows that NUDT5 is operates in the nucleus of hormone-driven breast cancer cells, to produce energy for the expression of genes important for cancer growth. To explore this as a new way to starve cancer cells from their molecular energy source, the researchers developed a molecule able to block NUDT5 activity. They demonstrated that this new molecule can stop the growth of breast cancer cells in laboratory experiments.

Read the full paper

Read a news article by Karolinska Institutet