6:10 PM
 | 
Feb 13, 2017
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Divide or conquer

How Argonaut is switching E2F1 from growth to death pathway in cancer cells

Argonaut Therapeutics Ltd. is attacking cancer by inhibiting an epigenetic regulatory protein that controls a dual role for the E2F1 pathway. By inhibiting the PRMT5 enzyme, the company’s molecules flip the pathway from growth and proliferation to apoptosis.

CSO Nick La Thangue said E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1) is rarely active in normal cells because it is bound to retinoblastoma protein, which acts as a repressor. In cancer E2F1 can become aberrantly activated by a variety of mechanisms including mutations in the retinoblastoma protein itself and kinases that regulate it, such as cyclin D.

La Thangue and colleagues at University of Oxford discovered that arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) controls the function of the E2F1 pathway when the retinoblastoma protein is...

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