POSH inhibitor-based cancer therapy
Cell-specific non-toxic reagent for the treatment of hematological and other cancers. Data using micelles composed of peptide amphiphiles targeted using aptamers demonstrate efficacy against a wide range of human and canine cancers, as well as low toxicity in vivo, and 2-3x longer median survival. Patents issued and pending.
University of Missouri researchers have developed a group of novel peptides that target a common set of biological pathways important in T cell function, activation of innate inflammation, ischemic reperfusion injury, HIV release and oncogenesis. The targeted pathways converge on (or are regulated by) POSH, a specific scaffold molecule, that functions to assemble components of signaling pathways that regulate basic cell biological processes of division, survival, death, development and differentiation. The deregulation of these pathways is implicated in cancer, autoimmunity, inflammation, as well as the function and development of T cells and neurons. Therefore, the application of these compounds in a therapeutic is likely to impact numerous therapeutic areas.
The novel group of peptides can be delivered to cellular sub-populations by synthesizing micelle nanostructures with aptamers as targeting moieties. These delivery modality allows the novel group of compounds overcome the problem of susceptibility to enzymatic degradation and limited internalization capacity. The research has shown promising in vitro results, and due to the low toxicity of the novel peptides, the researchers are enthusiastic about the upcoming animal trials, which will position the technology for clinical trials.