In 2017 we are all affected by cancer. Friends, family members, colleagues. We all know someone close to us that has been bludgeoned by this sickening disease and taken long before their time.
In case you didn’t know, cancer is created by a build-up of proteins in the body that were previously indestructable. But now a tide of change is upon us, reports the Huffington Post.
Miraculously, scientists from the University of Dundee in Scotland, believe they have made a breakthrough which can totally eradicate the previously ‘undruggable’ cancerous proteins.
Though the proteins have been resistant to drugs in the past, the scientists think that they have developed a so-called ‘kiss of death’ which uses molecules to bind them to a neutralising agent before destroying the proteins.
Professor Alessio Ciulli at Dundee’s School of Life Sciences explained:
Crucially, we have found that it is not enough for this neutralising protein to sit close to the bad protein.
It has to make direct contact with it, to ‘kiss’ it and not just a little peck, but a real ‘Gone with the Wind’ embrace.
We call this a ‘kiss of death’, as it is the key to ensure the degradation of the bad protein.
We know of many proteins which are active in causing diseases, but which we have been unable to block from going rogue or to stop them when they do.
Professor Ciulli concluded:
The major problem is that we have been unable to find the small molecules which can successfully bind to these proteins and at the same time hamper their function.
It is a highly complex area as these proteins can often fool regulators within the cell and be extremely difficult to pin down with inhibitors.
Research in our lab in the past few years has contributed towards establishing a different approach, one that has been theorised for many years but which is only now fully realised by this latest work.
Instead of using the small molecule to try and disable the bad protein, we have developed a way of modifying it so that it can be used to attract the neutralising proteins, which then bind to their bad neighbour and act against it, starting a cascade process of degradation.
Although nothing is certain in these early days, scientists believe this breakthrough could lead to the complete extermination of these bad ‘undrugable’ proteins for good in the near future.
Fingers crossed guys.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.