Research Highlight

Taming liver cancer

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.33 Published online 22 March 2010

Researchers have devised a new way to tame liver cancer. Using porous alumina and silica, they have delivered a compound that inhibits the activity of an enzyme involved in causing liver cancer.

Most malignant cancers in the liver are not primary hepatocellular carcinoma. Instead, cancer cells invade the liver from elsewhere in the body. During such migration of cancer cells, enzymes known as protein tyrosine phosphatase play a role.

One such enzyme is the chick retinal tyrosine phosphatase-2(CRYP-2), a protein identical in sequence to human glomerular epithelial protein-1 and involved in hepatic carcinoma. This is why the inhibition of CRYP-2 is of tremendous therapeutic importance for cancer.

To inhibit the catalytic activity of the enzyme, the researchers delivered p-nitrocatechol sulfate (pNCS) using porous alumina and silica modified with amine, an organic group.


  1. Kapoor, S. et al. Inhibition of a Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Using Mesoporous Oxides. J. Phys. Chem. B. 114, 3117-3121 (2010) | Article | PubMed |