Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

An obstacle to cancer cells

16.12.2005


The circulation of cancer cells through the blood vessels is often the cause of metastasis. These cancer cells contaminate normal cells and the pathology spreads throughout the body. Metastasis is the main risk in cancers. In order to prevent this process from occurring, a team from the Chemistry Faculty at the Donostia-San Sebastián campus of the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU) analysed the connections between cancer and normal cells.



Concretely, the UPV-EHU analysed the proteins that are involved in these connections. From amongst these proteins, they chose the ones that have a single active centre. If this centre is blocked, the cancer cell will not be able to adhere itself to a healthy cell and, thus, this path of spreading the disease is blocked.

The first thing to do is to analyse the structure of the proteins chosen. This task is undertaken using computers, given that the proteins are gigantic molecules. Once the structure is analysed and with the data for the active centre of the connection, the design of a new, small molecule to block this centre is initiated.


Diminutive in order to be stealthy

The new molecule must have very special characteristics, the main one being its size: so that our immunological system does not detect it, it has to be very small; if the new synthesised molecule is any bigger, our immunological system will detect and destroy it.

Also, this new diminutive molecule must adhere itself to the active centre of the protein and, in order to do this, it has to comply to a series of requirements, i.e. it must imitate the naturally-occurring molecule that connects to the active centre.

Using all these characteristics, a series of molecules - a family of new molecules - is designed and then synthesised. It has to be taken into account that these molecules have not been created previously and do not exist naturally and, consequently, it is not known if they are stable or not.

The final step is to verify that the new synthesised molecules carry out their job.

To block and to die

First of all, trials are carried out in vitro. Here the new molecules are analysed for their capacity to adhere to the protein and neutralise it. If a cancer cell is unable to unite with a healthy cell and contaminate it, it enters a programmed stage of death and self-destructs. Moreover, as a range of molecules has been designed and developed, it has to be known which give the best results and which are the most active.

The most active molecule in the in vitro trials have to demonstrate subsequently that they are also the most active in vivo, and often the results can vary. It is possible for another molecule from the same family to have better results in vivo; thus, it is vital to carry out these trials.

Once the series of trials are over, it can be decided to enhance the molecule’s efficacy or, if the results are very good, the process to convert it into medication can be initiated. But this is not the task of chemists; their job now is to follow another line of research to design more new molecules to combat other protein cancer cell connections.

Garazi Andonegi | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Gelaxka=1_1&hizk=I&Berri_Kod=838
http://www.elhuyar.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>