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Boston, MA, United States

Dana–Farber Cancer Institute is a center for cancer treatment and research in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a major affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and a founding member of Dana–Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute. Wikipedia.


PGC1α is a key transcriptional coregulator of oxidative metabolism and thermogenesis. Through a high-throughput chemical screen, we found that molecules antagonizing the TRPVs (transient receptor potential vanilloid), a family of ion channels, induced PGC1α expression in adipocytes. In particular, TRPV4 negatively regulated the expression of PGC1α, UCP1, and cellular respiration. Additionally, it potently controlled the expression of multiple proinflammatory genes involved in the development of insulin resistance. Mice with a null mutation for TRPV4 or wild-type mice treated with a TRPV4 antagonist showed elevated thermogenesis in adipose tissues and were protected from diet-induced obesity, adipose inflammation, and insulin resistance. This role of TRPV4 as a cell-autonomous mediator for both the thermogenic and proinflammatory programs in adipocytes could offer a target for treating obesity and related metabolic diseases. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Goldberg M.S.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Cell | Year: 2015

Although cancer immunotherapy can lead to durable outcomes, the percentage of patients who respond to this disruptive approach remains modest to date. Encouragingly, nanotechnology can enhance the efficacy of immunostimulatory small molecules and biologics by altering their co-localization, biodistribution, and release kinetics. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Mucin 1 (MUC1) is a heterodimeric protein formed by two subunits that is aberrantly overexpressed in human breast cancer and other cancers. Historically, much of the early work on MUC1 focused on the shed mucin subunit. However, more recent studies have been directed at the transmembrane MUC1-C-terminal subunit (MUC1-C) that functions as an oncoprotein. MUC1-C interacts with EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor), ErbB2 and other receptor tyrosine kinases at the cell membrane and contributes to activation of the PI3K AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways. MUC1-C also localizes to the nucleus where it activates the Wnt/β-catenin, signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) and NF (nuclear factor)-κB RelA pathways. These findings and the demonstration that MUC1-C is a druggable target have provided the experimental basis for designing agents that block MUC1-C function. Notably, inhibitors of the MUC1-C subunit have been developed that directly block its oncogenic function and induce death of breast cancer cells in vitro and in xenograft models. On the basis of these findings, a first-in-class MUC1-C inhibitor has entered phase I evaluation as a potential agent for the treatment of patients with breast cancers who express this oncoprotein. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Kaelin Jr. W.G.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Science | Year: 2012

Realizing the full potential of si/shRNA technology requires more sophisticated approaches to address the pitfalls.


Myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MYD88) L265P somatic mutation is highly prevalent in Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) and supports malignant growth through nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). The signaling cascade(s) by which MYD88 L265P promotes NF-κB activation in WM remain unclear. By lentiviral knockdown or use of a MYD88 inhibitor, decreased phosphorylation of the NF-κB gatekeeper IκBα and survival occurred in MYD88 L265P-expressing WM cells. Conversely, WM cells engineered to overexpress MYD88 L265P showed enhanced survival. Coimmunoprecipitation studies identified Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) complexed to MYD88 in L265P-expressing WM cells, with preferential binding of MYD88 to phosphorylated BTK (pBTK). Increased pBTK was also observed in WM cells transduced to overexpress L265P vs wild-type MYD88. Importantly, MYD88 binding to BTK was abrogated following treatment of MYD88 L265P-expressing cells with a BTK kinase inhibitor. Inhibition of BTK or interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 and 4 (IRAK-1 and -4) kinase activity induced apoptosis of WM cells, and their combination resulted in more robust inhibition of NF-κB signaling and synergistic WM cell killing. The results establish BTK as a downstream target of MYD88 L265P signaling, and provide a framework for the study of BTK inhibitors alone, and in combination with IRAK inhibitors for the treatment of WM.

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