Exploring Protein Synthesis as a Target for Anti-cancer Drugs

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Fall 2011

Project Description/Abstract

Cancer is a diverse group of diseases presenting themselves as uncontrolled tumor growth that interferes with normal organ function and depletes the body of valuable resources for growth and renewal. Chemotherapy and radiation combat cancer by introducing extensive damage to the genetic blueprint (DNA) of rapidly dividing cells and thus killing them. DNA damage is inflicted to normal cells to much lesser extent resulting in side effects for the duration of the therapy and increased risk of cancer on the long run. Rapidly dividing cancer cells exhibit higher rates of protein synthesis, presenting an alternative target for anti-cancer drugs. Since proteins are major building blocks of living cells, inhibiting protein synthesis will cease cell growth and rapid division, thus stopping cancer. The goal of this project is to develop a screen for inhibitors of protein synthesis disrupting protein-protein interactions critical for the initiation of the process.

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