ATB0,+ as a Drug Target for the Treatment of Cancer


The current state of the art

Cancer is a complex disease and is the result of many dysfunctional molecular events. By identifying the abnormal gene and proteins that are responsible for cancer growth and progress, target therapies are developed to treat cancer.

The problem with the current art

Although the current targeted therapies have improved survival times, patients develop drug resistance and undergo disease relapse. Therefore, there is a need for more targeted therapies to treat cancer. 

The advantages of our invention

Scientists at AU identified an amino acid transporter protein ATB 0,+ that is overexpressed in cancer cells and human cancer tissues. Unlike other amino acid transporter, ATB proteins transport all essential amino acids to cancer cells except glutamate and aspartate which are not essential. By blocking ATB0,+, alpha-methyl-tryptophan deprived amino acid influx, induced cell cycle arrest, and lead to apoptosis of cells in the colon, lung, and mammary cancer. Because ATB is expressed very low in normal cells, blocking ATB0,+  doesn’t impair the growth of normal cells. Therefore, the blocking of ATB with alpha-methyl-tryptophan could be a promising targeted therapy for the treatment of cancer.

AURI #2007-020

IP status: patent issued US 8436039B2


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Carl Clark
Director Technology Transfer
Augusta University
Vadivel Ganapathy
Puttur Prasad
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