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Eukaryotic translation elongation factor 2 kinase (EEF2K)

Patient, mouse and cell culture studies suggest inhibiting EEF2K could help improve the efficacy of nutrient deprivation therapy for cancer. In a human osteosarcoma cell line, small interfering RNA against EEF2K increased nutrient deprivation-induced apoptosis compared with control siRNA. In mice subjected to caloric restriction, injection of transformed fibroblasts overexpressing Eef2k led to larger tumors than injection of transformed fibroblasts not overexpressing Eef2k. In patients who have medulloblastoma or glioblastoma, expression of EEF2K was significantly associated with decreased survival (p=0.00003). Next steps could include screening for pharmacological inhibitors of EEF2K and evaluating their effects in cancer models.

SciBX 6(24); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.594
Published online June 20, 2013

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Leprivier, G. et al. Cell; published online May 23, 2013;
Contact: Poul H. Sorensen, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada