New protein structure model to inhibit cancer

July 29, 2011 By Helene Murphy

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire have developed a new structural model of a protein, which makes it possible to develop more effective drugs to target diseases such as cancer, heart disease and influenza.

In a paper which will be published in the Journal of online later this month, a research team lead by Dr. Andreas Kukol at the University’s School of Life Sciences, describes how they have developed a new 3D model of a which unleashes the inhibition of the growth of cells which, unless stunted, could lead to the spread of cancer or support infections such as .

“Our bodies are made up of proteins and therefore they are important for the proper functioning of the body,” said Dr. Kukol. “Malfunction of the protein can lead to cancer. This happens when it becomes over active, so our task has been to identify inhibitors.”

A research team led by Dr. Kukol developed a 3D model of the kinase IKK-β enzyme which is a protein that regulates other proteins.

“This enzyme controls proteins like policeman controls traffic,” said Dr. Kukol. “If the policeman or the enzyme gets out of control, then there will be chaos.”

The new 3D model can be used to find new inhibitors, such as organic molecules like aspirin that attach to the active site of the enzyme and make it less active thus stopping the spread of cancer or influenza.

The model is now ready for pharmaceutical companies to adopt so that they can develop more effective drugs to target these conditions. Dr. Kukol explained that the comparative modeling and computer simulation methods they used for this protein may be taken up by other research groups. In that way protein structure modelling could lead to more accurate models in the future.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

No dye: Cancer patients' gray hair darkened on immune drugs

July 21, 2017
Cancer patients' gray hair unexpectedly turned youthfully dark while taking novel drugs, and it has doctors scratching their heads.

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.