Treatment that Destroy Cancer Cells by Themselves

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Treatment that Destroy Cancer Cells by Themselves
Clusters of dysfunctional proteins building up can be seen in green. Courtesy of the Deshaies lab

Cancer cells can grow any place in the body and crowds out normal cells. This causes problems in the part of the body where cancer started. They consistently vary by affecting normal cells and causes a tumor. Hence mutation occurs due to uncontrolled growing cells. They create a number of dysfunctional proteins, that must regularly clean by the cells. But if the garbage protein molecules are not disposed of, these cancer cells could die by themselves. Although there are various therapies that destroy cancer cells but this new treatment makes cancer cells to die by themselves only.

Cancer cells create a number of dysfunctional proteins, that must be regularly cleaned by the cells. But if the garbage protein molecules are not disposed of, these cancer cells could die by themselves. Although there are various therapies that destroy cancer cells but this new treatment makes cancer cells to die by themselves only.

Scientists took advantage of it and developed a new treatment that inhibits the ability to destroy cancer cells by themselves. This new treatment developed by Caltech researchers fills cancer cell by junk proteins. This makes the cancer cells to kill themselves.

Jing Li, a postdoctoral scholar said, “All current cancer drugs that target the proteasome work by inhibiting the protein-chopping enzymes on the inside of the proteasome. Therefore they all have similar drawbacks and tend to lose efficiency over time. Our research offers an alternative path to disabling proteasome function, including in cells that no longer respond to the existing drugs.”

Proteasome structure is the main reason for garbage disposal within the cell. It is in the form of a hollow cylinder that takes in defective cells, chops them up, and then ejects the waste matter. The defective proteins are attached or tagged with smaller proteins that signal the defectiveness of the cell to the proteasome. These tags are removed when the damaged proteins enter the proteasome, or the garbage would be too big to be handled by the disposal. When cancer cells start filling by junk, the resulting stresses are fatal to the cell.

Scientists said this treatment makes impossible for proteasome to fully destroy bad proteins. It inhibits the part of the proteasome that removes the tags, known as Rpn11.

In addition to cancer cells, this treatment affects normal cells too. But, normal cells produce a lot less garbage than cancerous cells.

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