Scientists find new protein target SMARCD3 for pancreatic cancer treatments


eMediNexus    22 January 2023

According to a recent study published in Nature Communications, researchers have discovered a novel protein target that pancreatic cancer cells use to elude treatment and grow more quickly. Usually, this protein helps to limit tumour growth. The researchers found that there is yet another method through which the most resistant pancreatic cancer cells resist therapy.


In this study, the researchers looked at whether resistance can be caused by shifting epigenomics or the large number of proteins that instruct the genome what to do rather than by chromosomal changes. Gene-specific modifications are known as genomic changes. 


Experts said that to understand treatment resistance better and find ways to overcome it, they hoped to pinpoint the fundamental strategies and mechanisms that cancer stem cells employ. Experts focused on SMARCD3, a member of the SWI/SNF family of proteins, which regulates chromatin, a mixture of DNA and proteins that form chromosomes and is necessary for stem cell activity in development.


The study said although SWI-SNF subunits frequently serve as tumour suppressors, SMARCD3 was amplified in cancer, particularly plentiful in pancreatic cancer stem cells, and elevated or raised in the human disease. And when scientists eliminated SMARCD3 in pancreatic cancer models, the absence of the protein decreased tumour development and increased survival, especially when combined with chemotherapy.


Thus, the researchers concluded that SMARCD3 aids in regulating lipid and fatty acid metabolism, which are linked to cancer therapy resistance and a bad prognosis. They proposed that SMARCD3 is essential for maintaining a metabolic environment that allows therapy-resistant pancreatic cancer cells to proliferate aggressively and escape anti-cancer therapies. Hence, SMARCD3 is now becoming a fascinating new target for treatments.


(Source: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/diagnostics/new-protein-target-found-which-pancreatic-cancer-cells-leverage-to-resist-therapy-study/97195458)

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