Take That, Melanoma! ATM Kinase Inhibitors May Stop Metastasis

Take That Melanoma ATM Kinase  Inhibitors May Stop Metastasis image

Kinase inhibitors may stop the formation of invadopodia to prevent the spread of melanoma cells.

Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase inhibition may target the metastatic capacity of melanoma cells, according to a research team led by Wolfgang Weninger and Shweta Tikoo from MedUni Vienna's Department of Dermatology.

The results of the study, which appears in PNAS,  may pave the way for the development of a new class of melanoma drugs.

In their search for a treatment option that could not only combat the spread of cancer, but even prevent it, the research team focused on metastasis. A key feature of this process is the formation of so-called invadopodia. These are cellular structures that are formed by cancer cells to make it easier for them to penetrate the surrounding tissue. A protein called F-actin is also involved in this process.

With the help of a highly complex "invasion block" screening platform, the researchers examined 4,000 already approved substances for their ability to put a stop to the formation of invadopodia in order to prevent the spread of tumor cells.

"We identified kinase inhibitors as promising therapeutics," says Tikoo. 

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