MENU

Fox Chase Researchers Unlock Previously Inaccessible DNA Regions, Creating a Path for New Cancer Drug Discovery

November 7, 2016

Vasily Studitsky, PhDVasily Studitsky, PhDPHILADELPHIA (November 7, 2016) – Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have developed a method of uncovering and studying previously inaccessible DNA, which may enable major advances in research on a number of aggressive cancers. The study appears early online in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

FACT, a highly sought target of cancer drugs, is involved in many cellular processes including gene regulation and cancer development, but the mechanism of its action remained a mystery. Vasily Studitsky, PhD, coleader of the Cancer Epigenetics Program at Fox Chase, led a team that discovered a new way for FACT to unspool DNA from the proteins (histones) that normally provide DNA packaging in the small volume of cell nuclei, exposing previously unreachable portions of DNA to interact with other regulatory proteins. Notably, when FACT was removed, the DNA reverted to its natural state with no after-effects.

“This is a breakthrough for basic cancer biology, which opens the door for further research and the development of a new generation of cancer drugs,” Studitsky said.

      

The Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center and its affiliates (collectively “Fox Chase Cancer Center”), a member of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence five consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.
For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

Connect with Fox Chase