Integrating chemical and biological approaches to target NAD production and signaling in cancer
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Descrizione del progetto
Deregulated nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) biosynthesis and signaling underlies many aspects of carcinogenesis. NAD biosynthetic enzymes, such as nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) and nicotinic acid phosphoribosyltransferase (NAPRT), are commonly upregulated in cancer cells, where they fuel increased metabolic demands and downstream enzymes involved in DNA repair and in the promotion of cell growth, cell motility, de-differentiation and immune escape. In addition, NAD-producing enzymes, such as NAMPT, moonlight in the extracellular space, exerting strongly pro-oncogenic, autocrine and paracrine effects. Many of these roles of NAD-producing and NAD-utilizing enzymes appear to be shared between solid and haematological cancers. Thus, agents targeting NAD production or signaling are expected to have broad applicability. INTEGRATA will: 1. develop new NAD biosynthesis and NAD/nucleotide signaling inhibitors; 2. assess pharmacology and toxicity of the new therapeutics in preclinical models; 3. achieve the proof-of-concept of activity of the newly generated agents in relevant in vivo cancer models. INTEGRATA will train 14 PhD students in an overarching, interdisciplinary training programme that will include training-by-research, joint courses of technical, scientific, and transferrable skills, active participation to public scientific events, and an intense intersectoral networking exchange plan. The INTEGRATA Consortium encompasses academic institutions, research centres, and SMEs/biotech pharma, all with proven experience in higher education and training, and geared with state-of-the-art scientific and technical expertise and infrastructures.