A TGF-β Superfamily Member and Regulator of Cancer Stem Cell Renewal

Tumor initiation and progression rely on a subpopulation of self-renewing cancer stem cells. These cells promote new tumorigenic cells as well as play a major role in the growth and maintenance of cancer, leading to metastasis, therapy resistance, and tumor recurrence following treatment.

LEFTY1 is a member of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) superfamily and an important developmental signaling protein during embryogenesis by its interaction with NODAL to direct the left-right axis. Recently, it has been implicated in the tumorigenesis of breast cancer. According to two major cancer genome databases (The Cancer Genome Atlas and the Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium), approximately 20% of human breast cancer samples show genetic amplification or modification of LEFTY1. Genetic suppression of LEFTY1 expression in breast cancer models showed significant tumor inhibition.

Tachyon is partnering with AbCellera Biologics Inc. to develop a therapeutic antibody, TACH204, to inhibit LEFTY1.