Karmanos scientist receives two-year grant from National Cancer Institute, Institutes of Health
Monday, October 21, 2013
Gen Sheng Wu, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department
of Oncology at Karmanos and WSU SOM, has received a two-year, $363,660 grant (R21CA178111) from the National
Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute for his project, “A
novel role for PARP1 in regulation of autophagy.”
Dr. Wu is collaborating with John Reiners, Ph.D., professor
at the Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences, part of the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy & Health
Sciences at WSU.
standard cancer treatments, including chemotherapy drugs and radiation, cause
DNA damage of rapidly dividing cancer cells, leading to apoptotic cell death,
Dr. Wu’s research explains. PARP1 has been shown to help repair damage caused
by chemotherapy drugs and radiation and may cause tumor cells to survive and
grow. This can cause treatment failure. Therefore, PARP1 has been identified as
an attractive target for improvement of current treatments.
A number of PARP inhibitors have been developed, and preclinical
studies suggest that
standard therapies combined with PARP inhibitors may be more effective than
standard therapies alone. Studies suggest that PARP inhibitors could be
effective as single agents against tumors with inherent DNA repair defects, in
particular, breast and ovarian cancers that carry mutations in the BRCA1 and
Dr. Wu’s current grant will investigate a novel role for PARP1, and
the link between PARP1 and autophagy, a cellular process that sometimes leads
to cell death. Specifically, this grant will study how PARP1 interacts with the
core autophagy machinery to affect autophagy induction. Many anticancer agents
cause cellular damage that is counteracted by a parallel induction of
autophagy. Both PARP1 inhibitors and autophagy inhibitors often enhance the
cytotoxicities of chemotherapeutic drugs and have advanced to use in clinical
trials. An understanding of their interaction may facilitate the design of
approaches for more effective treatment of cancer.
We congratulate Dr. Wu on his grant!