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Development of FACT inhibitors for cancer stem cell eradication and cancer treatment

One of the main aims of current anti-cancer research is development of cancer stem cell (CSC) targeted treatment. Our team has identified one such target, called FACT (Facilitates Chromatin Transcription). This protein from the histone chaperone family is responsible for maintenance of DNA packaging in cells during cell division and differentiation. We found that CSCs are not viable in the absence of FACT while its absence has no effect on normal stem cells. We demonstrated that not only the function but also the level of FACT depends on the interaction of the two FACT subunits with their own mRNAs. Therefore, elimination of binding of any of these components makes this complex very unstable and easily degraded. Using genetic tools to interfere with FACT subunits binding is toxic for tumor cells including CSC. Therefore, our research is focused on the development of specific, direct inhibitors of FACT to eradicate CSC for cancer treatment and prevention of metastasis and cancer recurrence.