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09 - 01 - 2018

Treating leukemia by rendering the MYB oncogene ineffective

Researchers have succeeded in stopping leukemia in a mouse model by rendering a powerful oncogene ineffective.
 
MYB is an oncogene, a gene that makes a cell unable to obey signals that stop growth and cell multiplication. MYB produces the Myb protein, a transcription factor that is involved in many cancers including leukemias.
 
A research team discovered that:
• - Myb proteins work by clinging to a giant protein named TFIID
• - the attachment between the two proteins happens at a specific area of ​​the TFIID called TAF12.
 
Following this, the team designed a peptide that replicates TAF12 and thus attaches to Myb's anchor zone on TFIID. Myb is thus unable to attach to TFIID.
 
Using a mouse model for LMA, researchers confirmed that the peptide binds to Myb, and prevents it from binding to TFIID thus reducing LMA by 80% without any detected side effect.

 


 
The peptide cannot be used as a drug. But a substance that reproduces its effect while having the qualities of a drug could be engineered. The research team accompanied by pharmaceutical industries will be looking into the different possibilities.