Recently, Cancer Cell, a top-notch scientific journal on cancer research (latest impact factor (IF) 26.566), published online a research article entitled “Gain of Interaction with IRS1 by p110a-Helical Domain Mutants Is Crucial for Their Oncogenic Functions” by our School’s Professor Weiping Zheng’s research group in collaboration with that of Professor Zhenghe Wang at the Case Western Reserve University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland, the United States. Professors Zheng and Wang were the co-corresponding authors for the article, and Jiangsu University School of Pharmacy was one of the corresponding affiliations.
To identify a druggable new biological target is one major and also difficult task in modern cancer drug discovery. The researchers for this article now reported the identification of a protein-protein interaction (PPI) that has been demonstrated to be unique to the cancer cell, and to be essential and sufficient for the cancer cell proliferation. Through pharmacological studies with the cellular and mouse cancer models, the researchers further demonstrated the druggability for this PPI. This research has also furnished a lead compound for the further development of the blockers of this PPI as future cancer drugs.
Professor Weiping Zheng obtained his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry in 1999 from the Pharmacy School of the University of Tennessee in the United States, followed by a postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2004, Professor Zheng became the James L. and Martha J. Foght Assistant Professor at the Chemistry Department of the University of Akron in the United States, commencing his independent scientific career. In 2011, Professor Zheng moved to join the faculty at the Pharmacy School of Jiangsu University, and in 2012 was selected as a Jiangsu provincial specially-appointed professor and a recipient of the Jiangsu provincial ‘‘innovation and venture talents’’ award plan. Professor Zheng has authored and co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles in international scientific journals, among which 10 articles were published in those with IF 4.8 and above.