This week in therapeutics




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Prostate cancer

Hydroxysteroid 3b dehydrogenase 1 (HSD3B1)

In vitro and mouse studies suggest inhibiting HSD3B1 could help treat castration-resistant prostate cancer. HSD3B1 is required for testosterone-independent synthesis of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which contributes to prostate cancer growth. An acquired gain-of-function mutation in HSD3B1 that increased DHT levels was identified in 3 of 25 castration-resistant prostate tumors. In prostate cancer cells or a mouse xenograft model of prostate cancer, small hairpin RNA knockdown of HSD3B1 decreased DHT levels and cell or tumor proliferation compared with no knockdown. Next steps include identifying small molecule inhibitors of the target.

SciBX 6(37); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1028
Published online Sept. 26, 2013

Two provisional patent applications filed; potentially available for licensing

Chang, K.-H. et al. Cell;
published online Aug. 29, 2013;
Contact: Nima Sharifi, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio