Molecular glue to impart cutting edge to chemotherapyJune 23rd, 2011 - 2:55 pm ICT by IANS
Toronto, June 23 (IANS) When you drop a cake of soap into a sink full of greasy water, the grease recoils and retreats to the edges of the sink.
Now, what if the sink was a cancer cell, the globs of grease were cancer-promoting proteins and the soap was a potential drug?
Such a drug could force the proteins to the cell’s membrane (the edge of the sink) - and make the cancer cell more vulnerable to chemotherapy, says a new research.
“This is a totally new approach to cancer therapy,” says Professor Patrick Gunning, University of Toronto’s department of chemical and physical sciences, reports the journal Angewandte Chemie.
“Everything prior to this has targeted functionally relevant binding sites. Our approach inhibits the mobility of cancer-promoting proteins within cells essentially, it’s like molecularly targeted glue,” Gunning said.
The “glue” is shaped like a dumbbell: at one end is an anchor that sticks to the membrane, and at the other is a molecule that binds to the cancer-promoting proteins, according to a Toronto statement.
The anchor is a cholesterol molecule that is well known to stick to cell membranes. The protein recognition molecule is fairly picky about what it will bind to, reducing the risk of drug-related side effects.
“We are really excited about the potential for this type of drug,” says Gunning, who developed the concept along with his counterpart Claudiu Gradinaru and James Turkson at the University of Central Florida.
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