Research ArticleCancer

The mitotic kinesin KIF11 is a driver of invasion, proliferation, and self-renewal in glioblastoma

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Science Translational Medicine  09 Sep 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 304, pp. 304ra143
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac6762

Shutting off cancer’s motor

Glioblastoma is a common and aggressive brain tumor, which is very difficult to treat. Two of the mechanisms that contribute to its lethality are proliferation of the tumor cells and their invasion into normal brain tissue. Although these are usually thought to be independent processes, Venere et al. show that a molecular motor called KIF11 plays a role in both. By inhibiting KIF11 with a small molecule, the authors were able to block the proliferation and invasion of glioblastoma cells and to prolong survival in mouse models of this disease. These findings, together with the availability of a KIF11 inhibitor that’s safe for human use, suggest KIF11 as a viable therapeutic target for treating glioblastoma in patients.

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