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|INTEGRINS||> > > > integrins|
the life and death of tumor cells
Integrins are proteins involved in communication across cell membranes. Such communication is essential for all cells, including tumor cells. If it is disturbed, cell death will result.
Recently, integrins have been shown to act as cell-surface receptors for thyroid hormones, and this observation opens up opportunities to design thyroid hormone-based, anti-tumor agents. These agents should not impact normal thyroid function, but they may kill tumor cells that are growing rapidly and are especially sensitive to intercellular communication.
In collaboration with the Davis group at the Ordway Research Institute (Albany, NY), Dr. Cody is studying the molecular interactions between thyroid hormone and integrin. Current efforts focus on using the results of computational methods that model the interactions of thyroid hormone-based agents with integrin. The computer-based models will be verified by determining the three-dimensional crystal structure of integrin bound to thyroid hormone. These studies will provide crucial information that can lead to therapeutic agents with improved effectiveness against tumor cells.
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