HELICASES IN CANCER

Cancer research has identified several oncogenes, but the biological meaning of their mutations or altered expression levels as well as the interactions between different oncogenes are usually not immediately clear and require extensive research. Depending on the context, mutations and up- or down-regulation of proteins will or will not lead to the modulation of one or more of their functions and teach us more about their significance in Cancer. Among the most important oncogenes is the ATP-dependent RNA helicase DDX3.

One of the factors that contributed to the discovery of the role of DDX3 overexpression in cancer was the research on the known oncogenic effects of tobacco smoke. It was discovered that Benzopyran and Benzopyran Diepoxide (BPDE) which are Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons present in cigarette smoke, activated DDX3 expression and that this activation, in turn,  promoted the growth, proliferation and neoplastic transformation of breast epithelial cells. Since then DDX3 overexpression has been verified in various forms of cancer, among which the most malignant types of Breast, Lung and Prostate Cancer, just to name a few. Further investigation is still going on with several academic groups worldwide studying this subject.

OUR RESEARCH

Selective Inhibition

The DDX3 RNA helicase enzyme is highly multi-faceted in its activity and complex in its gene structure with ten highly conserved motives.

Targeted and Personalized Therapy

Our DDX3 inhibitors can be considered apoptosis-inducing targeted antitumor agents as they specifically induce cell death in those cancer cells.

The role of DDX3 in cancer

The role of DDX3 in cancer is a subject of continues investigation by many research groups world wide.

Cancer Types

First Health Pharmaceuticals’ cancer research concerns different types of cancer like breast-, lung-, prostate- and AIDS-associated cancers.

Cancer stem cells

Substantial evidence supports the hypothesis of a presence of stem cells (or stem cell-like cells) amongst mature differentiated cancer cells.