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NCKU research team reveals key mechanism in lung cancer

Tainan, Taiwan, September 25, 2014

Lung cancer remains one of the most common and malignant cancers worldwide. A Tainan-based research team from National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) has discovered Rab37, a protein in humans which is a critical regulator of vesicle trafficking, has played a vital role in inhibition of cancer metastasis.

The team led by NCKU Distinguished Professor Dr. Yi-Ching Wang from the Department of Pharmacology and Institute of Basic Medical Science, College of Medicine, made major medical breakthrough in tumour treatment, the university revealed at a press conference in Taipei on September 25.

Their research titled “Small GTPase Rab37 targets tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 for exocytosis and thus suppresses tumour metastasis” has been published in the September issue of Nature Communications.

“What we've discovered will help clinicians to better treat patients with lung cancer,” said Dr. Wang.

She noted that Rab-controlled trafficking pathways have been involved in tumorigenesis.

She also explained, Rab37 suppresses metastasis by regulating the exocytosis of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP1) to repress matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) and represents a novel prognostic marker for lung cancer.

“We address the metastasis suppressive function of Rab37 using secretomics, cell, animal and clinical analyses,” Dr. Wang added.

The study shows that TIMP1is a novel cargo of Rab37, according to Dr. Wang, and lung cancer patients with metastasis show low Rab37 protein expression coinciding with low TIMP1 in tumours.

Dr. Wang’s team has identified Rab37 as a novel metastasis suppressor Rab that functions through the TIMP1-MMP9 pathway and has significant prognostic power.
Date: 103.09.25
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