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CIHR Team in Investigating Autophagy Proteins as Molecular Targets for Cancer Treatment

This team project aims to enhance the translation of promising autophagy-related discoveries and therapeutic strategies to treatments that are beneficial for patients with late stage and recurrent / treatment insensitive cancers.

Project Leaders Sharon Gorski , Julian Lum, Marcel Bally, Robert Young, Karen Gelmon
Project Co-Investigators Helene Cote, Keith Humphries, Xiaoyan Jiang, Steven Jones
Project Contacts

For all project related inquires contact:

Stephanie McInnis
Involved Organizations
Funding Agencies
Atg4B and LC3 interacting.

Atg4B (gray) and LC3 interaction model.

Overview

There is a growing recognition that the process of autophagy has important implications for cancer treatment and tumour recurrence. It is now well established that autophagy is induced when tumour cells are exposed to conditions comparable to those found within growing tumours; conditions which mimic regions of low nutrient status and hypoxia. In addition, many anticancer drugs have been shown to induce autophagy. These studies completed using cell-based assays provide compelling evidence demonstrating an autophagic response in cancer cell lines, but little is known about the response in the context of tumours in patients prior to and following treatment. A primary goal of this project is to determine the relevance and scope of autophagy and autophagy alterations in primary specimens of human cancer. Our goals also include investigating the in vivo effects of autophagy inhibition using mouse models and human tumour xenograft models, and developing selective and potent inhibitors of autophagy.

Atg4B active site topography

A close up of the Atg4B active site showing interaction with LC3







Contact Information

For all project related inquires please contact us.

Stephanie McInnis, Project Coordinator
Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency
Email: smcinnis@bcgsc.ca
Phone: 604-675-8000 x 7965
Fax: 604-675-8178