Whether you are a cancer cell, you probably would want to oncoprotein called Bcl-2 was on your side, because it determines whether you will live or die. Under normal conditions, this protein - excellent bodyguard, protecting cancer cells from programmed cell death (apoptosis), and allows them to grow and form a tumor. However, sometimes it turns into their assassin.
Scientists have known that this sometimes happens, but they had no idea how to actually cause such a "betrayal." Now they know what to do. And this knowledge may lead to new effective drugs against cancer.
Researchers at Oregon State University (Oregon State University) and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham Institute for Medical Research, La Jolla, CA) was synthesized peptide converts Bcl-2, turning it into a cancer cell killer.
The key to such a conversion - NuBCP-9 peptide, nine amino acid sequence that binds to Bcl-2 and attack the mitochondria. Researchers have NuBCP-9 from the known pro-apoptotic protein Nur77, a nuclear receptor that can trigger cell death.
To see whether the assumption is blocked petri dish, researchers injected peptide NuBCP-9 and its enantiomer (mirror-structure molecule) in the tumors of mice and found that the cancer cells were killed and the tumors shrank. To their surprise, they also noticed that the enantiomer worked as well as the original peptide.
The discovery of this type is relatively rare in cancer research. It is particularly important for two reasons. First, the opening may lead to therapies that can be used against many types of cancer, which express Bcl-2 (breast cancer, and other carcinomas and leukemia, for example).
Secondly, it is important that, although peptide and causes the death of cancer cells, most likely, it does not exert almost no adverse effect on healthy cells. And as you know, the biggest problem in the fight against cancer is a death of healthy cells along with the cancer. Popular news articles of science and technology only on our website.