RPCI Researchers Establish Link Between Nanog, FAK Proteins

Thursday, April 19, 2012

BUFFALO, NY — Vita Golubovskaya, PhD, and five colleagues from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Roswell Park) have published basic research in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) about two proteins that are overexpressed, or produced in excessive amounts, in tumor cells.

Vita Golubovskaya, PhD

Led by Golubovskaya, senior author and Principal Investigator, the researchers found a direct link between Nanog, a transcription factor that plays an important role in the differentiation and proliferation of stem cells, and focal adhesion kinase (FAK), as outlined in a JBC paper published this month, “Nanog increases focal adhesion kinase (FAK) promoter activity and expression and directly binds to FAK protein to be phosphorylated.”

“Both Nanog and FAK are overexpressed in tumors, and we learned that Nanog regulates FAK expression and that both proteins interact in cancer cells,” notes Dr. Golubovskaya, Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Surgical Oncology at Roswell Park. “We’ll further study this from here, because understanding this connection between these proteins may provide new approaches to controlling tumor growth and spread.”

The paper is available for download at http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2012/04/05/jbc.M111.322883.full.pdf+html?sid=5c630389-5a69-47fe-b48f-718edb4e4f9a, and is also article 22493428 on PubMed. An abstract is available at www.jbc.org/content/early/2012/04/05/jbc.M111.322883.abstract?sid=5c630389-5a69-47fe-b48f-718edb4e4f9a.

The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Roswell Park, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit Roswell Park’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email AskRoswell@Roswellpark.org.

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