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PI3Kγ, a Convergent Molecular Target for the Suppression of Tumor Inflammation, Growth and Progression

Judith Varner, Ph.D., Moores Cancer Center

April 21, 2011
20 minutes
Judith Varner


The Varner Lab studies the molecular mechanisms by which the tumor microenvironment promotes tumor growth and metastasis. Our most recent focus is on understanding the roles that inflammation, angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis play in promoting tumor growth and spread. Tumor inflammation promotes angiogenesis, immunosuppression and tumor growth, but the mechanisms controlling inflammatory cell recruitment to tumors are not well understood. Our lab recently found that chemoattractants activating G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and Toll-like/IL-1 receptors (TLR/IL1Rs) all promote tumor inflammation by activating the PI3-kinase isoform p110γ in Gr1+CD11b+ myeloid cells. PI3kinase gamma then activates integrin α4ß1 to promote myeloid cell trafficking to tumors and subsequent angiogenesis and immunosuppression. We have determined that antagonists of PI3kinase gamma and integrin α4ß1 are potent suppressors of tumor inflammation, angiogenesis, growth and metastasis.