Scientists Discover Enzyme with Key Role in Aggressive Ovarian Cancers

Scientists Discover Enzyme with Key Role in Aggressive Ovarian Cancers
Scientists discovered a metabolic enzyme that adds methyl groups to other molecules, called nicotinamide N-methyltransferase, that plays an important role in the progression of high-grade serous carcinoma, the most deadly form of ovarian cancer. The findings of the study, "Proteomics reveals NNMT as a master metabolic regulator of cancer-associated fibroblasts," were published in the journal Nature. High-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) is the most common type of ovarian cancer because of its ability to spread to other organs in the abdominal cavity early on. For years, scientists have been studying the genetic and protein signatures of ovarian cancer cells in an effort to develop new ways to target and eliminate these cells. Recently, they came to the conclusion that a systematic approach focused not only on cancer cells, but also on the cells that support tumor growth (stromal cells), was required to stop cancer progression. In this study, a group of researchers from the University of Chicago and their collaborators set out to characterize changes in protein levels occurring in cancer cells and in stromal cells during HGSC development. They established a proteomic workflow to analyze changes in the levels of 6,944 proteins found in 107 tissue samples from the tumor itself and the surrounding stroma tissue. Samples included tissues from the primary tumor and secondary metastases (other regions in the body where cancer has spread), as well
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