Inhibiting the growth of cancer with an “artificial transcription factor” that manipulates genes – an innovative technology that silences the genetic information for cancer growth –

October 27(Fri), 2017

The research group of Professor Takashi Sera of the Laboratory of Biofunctional Molecules Design, Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology (Engineering), Okayama University specially-appointed Assistant Professor Tomoaki Mori, et al. conducted a collaborative research with Professor Yoshio Naomoto and Associate Professor Takuya Fukazawa of Kawasaki Medical School and succeeded in developing the tailor-made artificial protein “artificial transcription factor” (ATF) which makes it impossible to read the “cancer growth gene”, a type of cancer genetic information, for the first time in the world. This artificial transcription factor developed by Professor Sera is an artificial protein made by fusing artificial DNA-binding proteins that specifically bind to a target cancer growth gene and proteins that make it impossible to read the gene. The result of this research was published on October 5 in the online version of Oncotarget, a multidisciplinary science magazine in the field of cancer treatment.

Using designed artificial transcription factors, the study confirmed the effective suppression of the “SOX2 gene”, which is typically highly expressed in lung and esophageal cancers and promotes cell cancerization, not only at the cellular level but also at the animal level. This method is applicable to handling other cancer-related genes and is expected to be applied to various cancer preventions and drug discoveries utilizing the function of the genes. Since application of this innovative technology is not limited to cancer-related genes but to all disease-related genes, it is expected to greatly contribute to our lives.


Article Information
Authors: Etsuko Yokota, Tomoki Yamatsuji, Munenori Takaoka, Minoru Haisa, Nagio Takigawa, Noriko Miyake, Tomoko Ikeda, Tomoaki Mori, Serika Ohno, Takashi Sera*, Takuya Fukazawa*, Yoshio Naomoto
Journal: Oncotarget
Title: Targeted silencing of SOX2 by an artificial transcription factor showed antitumor effect in lung and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
Year of Publication: 2017

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