A new therapeutic approach to target prostate cancer
The gene encoding the transcription factor ERG is recurrently rearranged in over 50% of prostate cancer patients; ERG plays a critical role in prostate cancer oncogenesis. Recently, we identified a series of peptides that interact specifically with the DNA binding domain of ERG and inhibit its activity. ERG inhibitory peptides and derived peptidomimetics (EIPs) bound ERG with high affinity and specificity, leading to proteolytic degradation of ERG protein. The EIPs attenuated ERG-mediated transcription, chromatin recruitment, protein-protein interactions, cell invasion and proliferation, and tumor growth.Thus peptidomimetic targeting of transcription factor fusion products may provide a promising new therapeutic strategy for prostate cancer as well as other malignancies. Results of this study was published in Cancer Cell.