Breakthrough in fight against cancer

 
A team, led by Dr Gerd Wagner of University of East Anglia has discovered that a synthetic version of a molecule in cancer cells can block an enzyme which affects how cells attach and invade other cells and spread around the body.

It could be the key researchers have been searching for to prevent cancers from spreading, say the scientists. “In cancer cells you find the natural molecule UDP-Galactose.

“The expectation is, in the next step of research, that this could be a blocker of this cellular spreading of cancer cells as well.

“What is the really new thing, and really exciting, is this mechanism by which these blockers work is completely new. It is a very early step in the drug development process.

“The enzyme targeted by our molecules is particularly important in lung cancer. It is a general mechanism found in many other cancers, including breast cancer,” Dr Wagner was quoted by the Daily Express as saying.

When a cancer spreads through the body or a bacterium infiltrates its human host, the rogue cells use these sugars on their surface to make contact with other cells. To form the complex sugar structures that decorate their surface, cells rely on glycosyltransferases to join individual sugar building blocks together and therefore allow them to stick to other cells.

The scientists found that a synthetic version of the molecule UDP-Galactose in the cancer cells could block these enzymes and stop them from joining with healthy cells. These molecules could potentially be used to interfere with harmful biological processes like cancer and bacterial infection.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry