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Predicting potential anticancer drug side effects

  • Researcher: Dr Gyula Timinszky
  • Institution: Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
  • Award Amount: £198,720 for 3 years from January 2015
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Predicting potential anticancer drug side effects
PIM proteins are a promising target for anticancer drug therapies, with some treatments already in development. But Dr Timinszky in Germany is trying to find out if there is more than meets the eye to these enigmatic molecules. High levels of PIM proteins are found in many cancers, and they are known to promote potentially cancerous cell growth whilst also protecting these cells from death. This is why treatments which block PIM proteins could be an attractive option. But Dr Timinszky has found early evidence that makes him think PIM proteins may perform other important functions in cells. He thinks they also could help modulate how the cell repairs its DNA when it becomes damaged. Using his lab’s experience in studying DNA damage repair, Dr Timinszky is investigating the roles of PIM proteins and anti-PIM drugs in the regulation of DNA repair. He is also studying PIM’s effects on a protein called chromatin, which is involved in DNA modulation. “By gaining insight into these regulatory mechanisms," says Dr Timinszky, "we hopefully will better understand the effects and side-effects of anti-PIM drugs. Any new information on how PIM proteins regulate cells could also potentially lead to new ways to fight cancer in the future.”
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