Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
Working to eliminate the challenges
of childhood brain tumors
Please leave this field empty

Cure the kids! Give Now

font size AAA

First Snapshots of Cancer Protein B-Raf Illuminate Basic Biology and Can Impact Drug Design for Pediatric Low Grade Glioma Brain Tumor Patients


The first 3D images of a cancer-related protein complex were obtained using cryo-electron microscopy (background).
Foreground: an illustration of the B-Raf complex's structure. Video: Eck lab

Researchers at the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, led by Michael J. Eck, MD, PhD, professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology, have been able to capture high-resolution 3D images of the well-known cancer driver, B-Raf, in its inactive or “off” state and in several active or “on” positions. These findings clarify how B-Raf functions normally in the body as well as what happens when mutations alter its shape and lead to cancer.

“The structure gives us ideas about new approaches for drug discovery,” says Dr. Eck.

This work is expected to help researchers develop safer, more effective cancer drugs for kids battling pediatric low grade glioma brain tumors, many of which are driven by dysfunctional B-Raf.

Read the full article here.

This ongoing work is supported by the PLGA Fund at Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research and The National Institutes of Health.