Institution - Newcastle University, Newcastle
Researcher - Professor Craig Robson
Grant award - £100,330
Duration - 2013-2016
Reference - S12-018 Robson

In a nutshell

This project will investigate the role of proteins called phosphatases in regulation of Androgen Receptor function.  The aim of this work is to identify whether phosphatases are potential therapeutic targets for prostate cancer treatment.

Why we funded it

The androgen receptor (AR) is a protein that is present in cells in the prostate, especially cancer cells. AR activation is closely linked to prostate cancer growth. The AR gets activated when hormones called androgens, which promote cell growth (for example testosterone), bind to it. 

Hormone therapy can initially block AR activation by preventing androgens from reaching the AR. However, over time the cancer cells often find a way to activate the AR even without androgen binding. The resultant resistant form of prostate cancer is very difficult to treat, so new treatment options are needed. The proposed study investigates a group of proteins called phosphatases, which can regulate AR activation. If these proteins can also be shown to regulate AR function, they may eventually provide new drug targets for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

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