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A chromatin target for ALL

A New York University School of Medicine-GlaxoSmithKline plc collaboration has shown that an inhibitor of the chromatin regulator JMJD3 could help treat T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.1 As JMJD3 is upregulated and used as a notch partner in T cell leukemia specifically, and not during T cell development, the researchers hope that targeting the epigenetic modulator could avoid the safety pitfalls of general notch pathway suppression.

Current treatments for T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) involve combination chemotherapy regimens that have considerable toxic side effects. Apart from drugs that inhibit BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase fusion proteins, no targeted therapies are marketed for the disease.

The notch pathway is particularly attractive for drug development because it is overactivated in the majority of T-ALLs. However,

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