Available Technology

Soluble Glypican-3 Protein for Treatment of Cancer

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a form of liver cancer that is among the more deadly cancers in the world. HCC is typically only detected at the later stages of cancer development, which is always associated with poor prognosis. Because HCC is often associated with liver disease, traditional chemotherapy is not an option, making surgery the most common form of treatment. As a result, there is a need for new treatments.

Glypican-3 (GPC3) is a cell surface protein that is normally involved in cell growth and differentiation. GPC3 has been shown to act through the Wnt-signaling pathway, a pathway that is often activated in a number of different cancer cell types. Significantly, the ability of GPC3 to activate signaling through Wnt requires that GPC3 be bound to the cell membrane. GPC3 is also preferentially expressed on HCC cells, suggesting it could play a particularly important role in tumorigenesis in HCC.

This invention concerns a soluble form of GPC3 that lacks its cell membrane anchoring domain. This soluble form of GPC3 maintains its ability to interact with the Wnt signaling pathway, but cannot induce the activation of the pathway because it is not bound to the cell membrane. By competing with fully functional GPC3, the soluble GPC3 is able to inhibit the growth of HCC cells, thereby decreasing the ability of tumors to grow and metastasize. This suggests that soluble GPC3 represents a possible therapeutic for HCC.

Patent Abstract: 

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a form of liver cancer that is among the more deadly cancers in the world. HCC is typically only detected at the later stages of cancer development, which is always associated with poor prognosis. Because HCC is often associated with liver disease, traditional chemotherapy is not an option, making surgery the most common form of treatment. As a result, there is a need for new treatments.

Glypican-3 (GPC3) is a cell surface protein that is normally involved in cell growth and differentiation. GPC3 has been shown to act through the Wnt-signaling pathway, a pathway that is often activated in a number of different cancer cell types. Significantly, the ability of GPC3 to activate signaling through Wnt requires that GPC3 be bound to the cell membrane. GPC3 is also preferentially expressed on HCC cells, suggesting it could play a particularly important role in tumorigenesis in HCC.

This invention concerns a soluble form of GPC3 that lacks its cell membrane anchoring domain. This soluble form of GPC3 maintains its ability to interact with the Wnt signaling pathway, but cannot induce the activation of the pathway because it is not bound to the cell membrane. By competing with fully functional GPC3, the soluble GPC3 is able to inhibit the growth of HCC cells, thereby decreasing the ability of tumors to grow and metastasize. This suggests that soluble GPC3 represents a possible therapeutic for HCC.

Benefits 
Removal of the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor results in a soluble form of GPC3 that can interrupt Wnt-signaling -Soluble GPC3 maintains the ability to compete with fully functional GPC3 despite its inability to activate signaling -For treatment of HCC, offers a non-invasive, potentially non-liver toxic alternative to current strategies
Inventors: 

Mitchell Ho

Patent Number: 
61334,135 US Application No. 61350,722
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