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Protein Linked to Development of Some Lung Cancers

Mouse model shows inhibition impairs growth of tumors with mutations in two genes

MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancers with alterations in two genes may be susceptible to inhibitors that target a protein important in cellular processes such as inflammation and fighting infection, according to an animal study published online Oct. 21 in Nature.

Noting that oncogenic Kras mutations and inactivating mutations in the tumor suppressor p53 are common in lung cancer, and these alterations are known to activate the NF-κB signaling pathway, Etienne Meylan, Ph.D., and colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge examined the effect of inhibiting NF-κB in a mouse model of lung cancer containing these gene alterations.

The researchers found that inhibiting NF-κB at the time of tumor initiation led to a profound inhibition of tumor growth. Further investigation showed that inhibiting NF-κB in established tumors was also effective in inhibiting tumor growth.

"Together, these results indicate a critical function for NF-κB signaling in lung tumor development and, further, that this requirement depends on p53 status," Meylan and colleagues conclude. "These findings also provide support for the development of NF-κB inhibitory drugs as targeted therapies for the treatment of patients with defined mutations in Kras and p53."

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