The cancer 'TRAP'

December 29, 2009, American Journal of Pathology

Current research suggests that TNF-receptor associated protein-1 (TRAP-1) may prevent cancer cell death. The related report by Leav et al, "Cytoprotective Mitochondrial Chaperone TRAP-1 as a Novel Molecular Target in Localized and Metastatic Prostate Cancer," appears in the January 2010 issue of the American Journal of Pathology.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States, following lung cancer. most commonly develops in men over the age of 50 and is slow-growing; however, it may metastasize to other organs, particular to the bones and lymph nodes. Metastatic phase prostate cancer claims over 30,000 deaths per year in the United States alone.

are often resistant to cell death. Researchers led by Dr. Dario C. Altieri of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, therefore, explored the role of TRAP-1, a protein thought to regulate cell death, in prostate cancer survival. TRAP-1 was highly expressed in both high-grade human prostate cancer lesions and mouse models of prostate cancer, but not in benign or normal prostate tissue. In addition, TRAP-1 overexpression in non-cancer prostate cells inhibited cell death, whereas TRAP-1-deficient prostate cancer cells had enhanced levels of cell death. Moreover, treatment with Gamitrinib, which inhibits TRAP-1, resulted in prostate cancer cell death, but not death of non-cancerous . Therefore, targeting TRAP-1 via Gamitrinib treatment may be a viable therapeutic strategy for patients with advanced prostate cancer.

Leav et al suggest that "TRAP-1 [is] a novel marker of localized and metastatic prostate cancer, but not normal glands, required for prostate cancer cell viability, in vivo. Taken together with the preliminary safety of Gamitrinibs in preclinical studies, these data suggest that targeting mitochondrial TRAP-1 may provide a novel therapeutic approach for patients with advanced and metastatic prostate cancer" A similar approach may be also suitable for other types of cancer, as TRAP-1 is broadly expressed in disparate human malignancies. In future studies, Dr. Altieri and colleagues plan to "further dissect the biology of TRAP-1 cytoprotection in cancer cells, and test whether disabling its function may overcome drug resistance, the most common reason of treatment failure and dismal outcome in patients with advanced prostate cancer."

More information: Leav I, Plescia J, Goel HL, Li J, Jiang Z, Cohen RJ, Languino LR, Altieri DC: Cytoprotective Mitochondrial Chaperone TRAP-1 as a Novel Molecular Target in Localized and Metastatic Prostate Cancer. Am J Pathol 175: 393-401

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Study: Cells of three advanced cancers die with drug-like compounds that reverse chemo failure

January 23, 2018
Researchers at Southern Methodist University have discovered three drug-like compounds that successfully reverse chemotherapy failure in three of the most commonly aggressive cancers—ovarian, prostate and breast.

'Hijacker' drives cancer in some patients with high-risk neuroblastoma

January 23, 2018
Researchers have identified mechanisms that drive about 10 percent of high-risk neuroblastoma cases and have used a new approach to show how the cancer genome "hijacks" DNA that regulates other genes. The resulting insights ...

Enzyme inhibitor combined with chemotherapy delays glioblastoma growth

January 23, 2018
In animal experiments, a human-derived glioblastoma significantly regressed when treated with the combination of an experimental enzyme inhibitor and the standard glioblastoma chemotherapy drug, temozolomide.

Scientists block the siren call of two aggressive cancers

January 23, 2018
Aggressive cancers like glioblastoma and metastatic breast cancer have in common a siren call that beckons the bone marrow to send along whatever the tumors need to survive and thrive.

Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant

January 23, 2018
A study headed by ICREA researcher Roger Gomis at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has identified the genes involved in the latent asymptomatic state of breast cancer metastases. The work sheds light ...

Boosting cancer therapy with cross-dressed immune cells

January 22, 2018
Researchers at EPFL have created artificial molecules that can help the immune system to recognize and attack cancer tumors. The study is published in Nature Methods.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.