The Bcl-6 oncoprotein as a target for transcription therapy
Dr. Melnick’s research will focus on determining the mechanism of action of transcription factors (master regulatory proteins that govern the activity of the genome) involved in the molecular pathogenesis of hematologic malignancies. Dr. Melnick and his team discovered a key mechanism of action of a factor called Bcl-6, which is frequently mutated in B-cell lymphomas, and engineered peptide inhibitors of this mechanism. These peptides kill malignant lymphoma cells but do not affect normal cells and are non-toxic in animal models. Their preliminary data suggest that Bcl-6 licenses B-cells to enter an extremely vulnerable and unstable state that predisposes to cancer.