An international team of scientists led by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers has identified and characterized the cytoplasmic protein NTXB1 that was detected in a rare but potentially lethal cancer variant that did not respond to treatment. They found the protein was expressed on the inside and reported in Traceable to cancer C Therapy (TRICT) Cancer Research.
NTXB1 plays a role in preventing or preventing the cell death associated with apoptosis – the process by which cancer cells decompose their own cells ultimately leading to cancer cell death. NTXB1 levels were measured in the cytoplasmic membrane of two patients with highly aggressive acute myeloid leukemia (TMB) and two matched patients without TMB. The NTXB1-deficient patients had significantly lower levels of NTXB1 and were unable to respond to an NTXB1 inhibitor and only one patient showed higher NTXB1 levels on average than the matched. NTXB1 expression was detected in areole-negative and hematologic malignancies the most common forms of cancer as well as in two other cancers involved in the nephrology ecosystem. Much of NTXB1s ability to protect cancer cells has been attributed to its ability to destroy pro-tumor cell lipids but more recent studies have revealed that NTXB1 could also regulate lipid metabolism in a subset of other cancer types. NTXB1 expression varies widely among patients undergoing nephrology suggesting a unique role in different etiologies. No previous studies however have focused on the development of O-fucosylcerase-targeted therapies in synovial or small cell lung cancers.