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 Navigational view of the brain thanks to powerful X-rays
18.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

nachricht Separating methane and CO2 will become more efficient
18.10.2017 | KU Leuven

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>