News

AddToAny

Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter

Taming the chaotic protein that fuels cancers

MYC is a protein that it is claimed is responsible for making the majority of human cancer cases worse.

white cells attacking cancer - CREDIT- Science Photo Library f0234989.jpg

Researchers from the US have now found a way to rein it in, which they state offers hope for a new era of treatments. 

In healthy cells, MYC helps guide the process of transcription, in which genetic information is converted from DNA into RNA and, eventually, into proteins.

“Normally, MYC’s activity is strictly controlled. In cancer cells, it becomes hyperactive, and is not regulated properly,” said UC Riverside Associate Professor of Chemistry Min Xue.

“MYC is less like food for cancer cells and more like a steroid that promotes cancer’s rapid growth. That is why MYC is a culprit in 75% of all human cancer cases.”

A new paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, on which Xue is the senior author, describes a peptide compound that binds to MYC and suppresses activity.

The team describes a new peptide that binds directly to MYC with what is called submicromolar affinity, which is getting closer to the strength of an antibody.

In other words, it is a very strong and specific interaction.

“We improved the binding performance of this peptide over previous versions by two orders of magnitude,” Xue said. “This makes it closer to our drug development goals.”

Once the peptide is in the cell, it will bind to MYC, changing MYC’s physical properties and preventing it from performing transcription activities.

bit.ly/3RG0J9s

Image credit | Science Photo Library

Related Articles

Tissue grafts that escape immune system rejection

In a preclinical breakthrough, researchers have developed a technology that may one day eliminate the need for immunosuppressive drugs in transplant patients.

Fractional COVID-19 booster vaccines

Reducing the dose of a widely used COVID-19 booster vaccine produces a similar immune response in adults to a full-dose with fewer side effects, according to a new study.

How to measure improvement in long COVID

Researchers have reached an agreement on how to measure the severity and impact of long COVID by identifying a “Core Outcome Measure Set” (COMS).

Benefits of exercise and the immune system

A new study may offer molecular insights into the connection between exercise and inflammation.

Top