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A new report in the journal Science shows that indole-3-carbinol (I3C) – a natural compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables – can be used to therapeutically target a gene (WWP1) known to play a role in several human cancers. Using mouse and human cell models, the team were able to demonstrate that I3C is in fact a potent inhibitor of the enzyme WWP1 (WW domain–containing ubiquitin E3 ligase 1).

“This pathway emerges not only as a regulator for tumor growth control, but also as an Achilles’ heel we can target with therapeutic options.” explains co-author of the study Pier Paolo Pandolfi of Harvard Medical School.


Yu-Ru Lee, et al. (2019) Reactivation of PTEN tumor suppressor for cancer treatment through inhibition of a MYC-WWP1 inhibitory pathway, Science 364, eaau0159

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