Pharmaceutical sciences assistant professor presents cancer research
Erxi Wu, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, presented “Identification of transcription intermediary factor 1-beta and nucleolin as salinomycin binding targets with critical roles in cell proliferation and survival” at the Hallmarks of Cancer Cell Symposia in San Francisco in October.
The purpose of the symposium is to highlight recent advances by bringing together leaders in the field and to facilitate the translation of basic research discoveries into improvements in cancer treatment.
According to the event’s website, “There has been tremendous progress in understanding key aspects of cancer, such as the impact of genomic instability, the unique mechanisms that cancer cells use to sustain their growth, and the role of stromal cells in promoting tumor growth and dissemination. This improved knowledge has led to the development of many new cancer therapeutics, several of which are already in clinical use.” For more information on the symposium, visit www.cell-symposia-hallmarksofcancer.com/index.html.
“My former colleagues Dr. Lander and Dr. Weinberg’s, who also is a co-chair for this symposium, groups demonstrated that salinomysin has strong anticancer activities with 100-fold potency than paclitaxel and is also a cancer stem cell killer in their 2009 cell paper. Since then, much effort has focused on its action mechanism study. Now we are the first one to have identified its binding targets using comprehensive approaches in neuroblastoma,” Wu said.
“Neuroblastoma is a common solid malignancy diagnosed in children. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, its curable rate remains low, less than 30 percent. Previous studies have shown that neuroblastoma cells are of stem cell origin. In this study, we determined the effects of salinomycin in neuroblastoma cells and investigated its molecular mechanism. Our data show that salinomycin induces cell death and inhibits cell proliferation in human neuroblastoma cells by largely due to cell cycle arrest at S/G2 phases. We revealed that transcription intermediary factor 1-beta and nucleolin are potential binding targets of salinomycin. Our results indicate that intermediary factor 1-beta and nucleolin could be potential therapeutic targets, and salinomycin could be a new therapeutic agent for treating neuroblastoma,” Wu continued.
Shuang Zhou, a doctoral student in Wu’s lab, is a leading author for the study. Co-authors include Fengfei Wang, research associate in Wu’s lab; Shi-Hua Xiang, assistant professor at the University of Nebraska; Eric Wong, associate professor at Harvard Medical School; Wallace Muhonen, research specialist, John Shabb, associate professor, and Min Wu, associate professor, at the University of North Dakota, Ekokobe Fondkem, assistant professor at Texas A&M Health Science Center; and Joseph Wu, professor at New York Medical College.
Wu said he appreciates the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence Center for Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience support of the research. The center has provided financial support totaling $163,000 during the past two years.
Wu also was offered a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence Pilot Project Award by the Center of Protease Research and will continue the research on salinomycin’s binding targets in neuroblastoma. The award will help Wu seek an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.