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Junran Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

Junran Zhang
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Inhibiting Enzyme Required for Cholesterol Synthesis May Suppress Growth of NSCLC
Lung Cancer Discovery Award
Barry Gottschalk/ American Lung Association Lung Cancer Discovery Award

A large majority of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). An enzyme required for cholesterol synthesis called squalene epoxidase (SQLE) is frequently overexpressed in NSCLC and is associated with poor patient prognosis. We will test a compound that inhibits SQLE, along with compounds that inhibit certain proteins required for DNA damage response (DDR). We will test whether inhibiting SQLE renders cells sensitive to inhibitors targeting DDR. Co-administration of a SQLE inhibitor and DDR inhibitors could work together to suppress the growth of NSCLC expressing high levels of SQLE. Our studies could lead to novel treatments for this type of lung cancer.

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