A pharmaceutical milestone seems to have been reached last month when a National Cancer Institute panel approved an anti-tumor drug called PS-341 for government-financed clinical trials. PS-341 is the first agent targeting the ubiquitin-mediated proteolytic system to be headed for human testing, according to ProScript Inc., the small firm in Cambridge, Mass., that developed the drug. Clinical trials at NCI and several medical centers could begin later this summer if the Food and Drug Administration approves an investigational new-drug application for PS-341.

STUDYING REVERSE: Ubiquitin's removal may be linked to small-cell tumors, according to research by Douglas Gray of the University of Toronto.
Whether the trials succeed, the advent of PS-341 portends a shift in the study of ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Though the field has largely focused on the basic mechanisms underlying this cellular garbage-disposal system, a relatively small body of research over the past decade has implicated the system in...

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