Induction therapy of autophagy and apoptosis in melanoma cells
Published on October 26th, 2012
Advances in recent decades have revealed the genetic scenario of the formation of melanoma including mutations and signaling pathways. Researchers at the Melanoma Group, headed by Dr. Soengas in the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), have made human melanoma cells to destroy themselves to activate simultaneously two programs of cell death: apoptosis and autophagy. This research opens a new avenue for the development of new treatments against this disease.
The results of this research have earned the cover of the latest issue of the prestigious journal Cancer Cell. The research team identified agents capable of triggering a massive self-degradation of melanoma cells. Among the most powerful, the group focused on synthetic molecules that mimic the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). One is the polymer poliinosina / policitidílico acid (pIC). This pic was introduced into melanoma cells using polyethyleneimine (PEI) as a carrier and found to be acting as an inducer of autophagy.
In addition there was a concurrent activity with dsRNA helicase MDA-5, acting on the proapoptotic protein NOXA, thereby increasing the effectiveness autodigestiva of melanoma cells. According to investigators, the pIC-PEI complex has significant advantages over other anticancer agents. First, pIC-PEI induces both autophagy and apoptosis, whereas other active drugs (and partially) only one of these programs; pIC-PEI is able to block the metastatic growth of melanomas in experimental models without inducing adverse side. One of his next goals is to improve management efficiency and pIC-PEI in vivo.