Progress Report: Barbara Graves, Ph.D; Peter Hollenhorst, Ph.D

Co-Investigator: Barbara Graves, PhD –Professor and Chair, Oncological Sciences, Senior Director for Lab Research, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah

Co-Investigator: Peter Hollenhorst, PhD –Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Indiana University

ETS Protein Targets in Prostate Cancer—Understanding Gene Activity that Likely Causes Up to 60 Percent of Prostate Cancer Can Open Door to New Drug Discovery

Transcription factors are a class of proteins that bind to DNA and regulate the expression of genes involved in normal and malignant cellular processes. One family of transcription factors, ETS factors, is highly expressed in over 50% of prostate cancers due to chromosome rearrangements and is thought to be a cause of the disease. Drs. Graves and Hollenhorst identified a subset of genes that change in response ETS factor activity in prostate cancer cells. They define these genes as a “cancer signature” because many are responsible for stimulating cancer cell invasion and proliferation. These findings help explain how ETS factors are involved in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer and may provide new directions for discovery of new medicines. Drs. Graves and Hollenhorst will continue their prostate cancer research with other sources of funding including the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program.

Terms to know from this article:

Malignant

Cancerous. Malignant tumors can invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

Progression

Increase in the size of a tumor or spread of cancer in the body.