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Glycogen liver phosphorylase (PYGL)

A study in mice suggests inhibiting PYGL could help treat hypoxic tumors. In human glioblastoma, breast and colon cancer cell lines, hypoxia increased expression of PYGL compared with no hypoxia. In a xenograft mouse model of human glioblastoma, the antiangiogenic drug Avastin bevacizumab led to hypoxia and increased expression of glycogen metabolism genes compared with saline. In the same model, glioblastoma cells with stable knockdown of PYGL led to tumors that were about 10% as large as tumors in mice with glioblastoma cells expressing PYGL. Next steps include testing the effects of knocking down PYGL in combination with antiangiogenic therapies in mouse models of cancer.
Avastin is marketed by Roche's Genentech Inc. unit to treat brain and breast cancer.

SciBX 5(47); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1230
Published online Dec. 6, 2012

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Favaro, E. et al. Cell Metab.; published online Nov. 21, 2012;
Contact: Adrian L. Harris, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.