Researchers ID protein involved in wound healing, tumor growth

May 28, 2014

A protein that plays a role in healing wounds and in tumor growth could be a future therapeutic target, recent research suggests.

A protein that plays a role in healing wounds and in tumor growth could be a future therapeutic target, recent research suggests.

Investigators with Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, studied iRhom2, a protein involved in epithelial regeneration (EGFR) and cancer growth by way of constitutive activation of epidermal growth factor receptor signaling, according to the study abstract. Researchers introduced mutations in Rhbdf2, the gene responsible for encoding the iRhom2 protein. Doing so allowed for an extension of the protein’s duration and wound-healing capabilities, according to a news release. Although the altered protein contributed to the growth of existing tumors, it did not cause new ones to develop.

“This study demonstrates the significance of mammalian iRhoms in regulating an EGFR signaling event that promotes accelerated wound healing and triggers tumorigenesis,” Lenny Shultz, Ph.D., study co-author, said in a statement. “Given their ability to regulate EGFR signaling in parallel with metalloproteases, iRhoms can be potential therapeutic targets in impaired wound healing and cancer.”

The study findings were published in the May 27 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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