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Deoxyhypusine hydroxylase/monooxygenase (DOHH)

Studies in cell culture suggest antagonizing DOHH could be useful for treating cervical cancer. DOHH is involved in the biosynthesis of hypusine, an unconventional amino acid that is essential for the function of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A), which promotes tumor growth. In human cancer cells, the DOHH inhibitors ciclopirox and deferiprone decreased eIF5A levels, expression of eIF5A-regulated genes and tumor growth compared with vehicle. Next steps include preclinical testing in animal models of cancer.
Ciclopirox is marketed as a generic topical antifungal and is in Phase I testing for hematological malignancies by academic investigators.
Apotex Inc. markets Ferriprox deferiprone to treat transfusional iron overload in patients with thalassemia.

SciBX 7(1); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.7
Published online Jan. 9, 2014

Patented by Rutgers University; licensed to Linden Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Memin, E. et al. Cancer Res.; published online Nov. 12, 2013;
Contact: Michael B. Mathews, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School,
Newark, N.J.