US Pharm. 2013;38(1):HS-18.
Tumor cells use stress signals to
subvert responding immune cells, exploiting them to enhance conditions
for cancer growth, according to researchers at the University of
California, San Diego School of Medicine. The findings were published
in the December 18 online issue of the journal PLOS ONE.
The researchers found that tumor cells
manipulate the unfolded protein response (UPR), which is used to
maintain homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the cell’s
protein-making factory. When a cell is subjected to overwork, ER stress
occurs and a compensatory UPR is triggered.
“The goal is to understand how ER stress
is transmitted and how this is amplified by receiver cells to attack
vulnerable aspects of the immune system,” said principal investigator
Maurizio Zanetti, MD. “These findings suggest that the tumor UPR should
be a target of therapy, not only for its intrinsic function in
promoting tumor adaption and survival, but now for its external role in
subverting the anti-tumor immune response.”