Drug Discovery News: Silence in healthy cells makes FOXR2 a potential cancer target

Drug Discovery News recently highlighted research coauthored by the University of Cincinnati's Timothy Phoenix, PhD, focused on a gene called FOXR2.

FOXR2 is usually not expressed in most healthy cells, but the research team found it is abnormally expressed in more than 70% of 10,000 different adult and pediatric cancer types the team analyzed

The research team also found that FOXR2 bound to the DNA sequences that normally associate with E26 transformation-specific (ETS) transcription factors (ETS TFs), which control the expression of genes with a variety of cellular functions. 

“FOXR2 and ETS TFs can interact on DNA and actually turn genes on and off, which can cause cancer,” said Phoenix, assistant professor in UC’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a University of Cincinnati Cancer Center researcher.

Moving forward, the team aims to learn more about exactly how FOXR2 functions and the proteins it interacts with, with long-term goals of developing targets for new treatments.

Read the Drug Discovery News story.

Featured photo at top of Phoenix in his lab. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Marketing + Brand

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