Center for Cancer Research Seminar

Event Date: April 11, 2013
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Location: LWSN 1142
"MUC1 Heterodimeric Oncoprotein: Fundmental, Translational and Clinical Research" presented by Dr. Donald Kufe, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Leader, Translational Pharmacology and Early Therapeutic Trials Program, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

Mucin 1 (MUC1) is a heterodimeric protein formed by two subunits that is aberrantly overexpressed in diverse human carcinomas and certain hematologic malignancies.  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/b-catenin, signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) and NF (nuclear factor)-kB 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 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 cancers that express this oncoprotein.

Light refreshments served.