Inhibitors of the ubiquitin E3 ligase BCA2 as anti-cancer therapeutic agents

Case ID:


Breast cancer associated protein 2 (BCA2) is a ubiquitin E3 ligase found in invasive breast cancer.  Studies have shown that by decreasing its activity, breast cancer cell growth and invasiveness are diminished.  Targeting this ligase and inhibiting its activity could play a role in treatment of breast cancer.  A molecular approach to inhibiting this ligase is a new methodology that could circumvent drug resistance and be used safely, with few side effects.


BCA2 is a molecule containing a certain zinc-binding domain.  By disabling this zinc binding area, the BCA2 ligase is no longer active.  The chemical disulfiram has been found to be effective in ejecting the zinc from the binding region, causing a decrease in BCA2 activity.  The technology consists of using disulfiram and analogs to inhibit the BCA2 molecule’s activity as a treatment for breast cancer.

Commercial applications

  • Breast cancer therapeutic
  • Cancer research tool

Stage of Development:

Pre-clinical, cell culture studies performed

Competitive advantages

  • A new molecular approach to decreasing protein 2 (BCA2) which will inhibit breast cancer cell growth and diminish invasiveness
  • A known compound that can circumvent drug resistance safely and with few side effects

 Intellectual Property Status

Patent application filed



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Joan Dunbar
Associate Vice President for Technology Commercialization
Wayne State University
(313) 577-5542
Angelika Burger
Andrew Westwell
Analog or Analogue
Breast Cancer
Drug Target