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  • Alex Kentsis

  • Oct 02, 2014

Blocking disulfide-bridged oncogenic receptor signalling in leukemia using N-acetylcysteine

A subset of human acute lymphoblastic leukemias are driven by mutations of the interleukin-7 receptor (IL7R) and cytokine receptor-like factor 2 (CRLF2), causing aberrant signaling due to disulfide-mediated receptor activation. Together with Marc Mansour and Tom Look, we found that commonly used drug N-acetyl cysteine, related to a natural nutritional amino acid, is able to reduce disulfide-bridged receptors, block mutant receptor signaling, and kill leukemia cells in preclinical models. This offers a potentially effective and readily available therapy that requires testing in clinical trials.