Targeting protein-protein interactions as an anticancer strategy

Human protein-protein interaction network

Visual representation of partial human protein-protein interaction network (Adapted from Int J Mol Sci. 2010; 11(4): 1930–1943)

Ivanov AA, Khuri FR, Fu H

Trends in Pharmacological Sciences

May 28, 2013

Abstract: The emergence and convergence of cancer genomics, targeted therapies, and network oncology have significantly expanded the landscape of protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks in cancer for therapeutic discovery.

Extensive biological and clinical investigations have led to the identification of protein interaction hubs and nodes that are critical for the acquisition and maintenance of characteristics of cancer essential for cell transformation. Such cancer-enabling PPIs have become promising therapeutic targets. With technological advances in PPI modulator discovery and validation of PPI-targeting agents in clinical settings, targeting of PPI interfaces as an anticancer strategy has become a reality. Future research directed at genomics-based PPI target discovery, PPI interface characterization, PPI-focused chemical library design, and patient-genomic subpopulation-driven clinical studies is expected to accelerate the development of the next generation of PPI-based anticancer agents for personalized precision medicine. Here we briefly review prominent PPIs that mediate cancer-acquired properties, highlight recognized challenges and promising clinical results in targeting PPIs, and outline emerging opportunities.  

Last updated: June 27, 2020