Scientists discover unique peptides with anti-cancer potential

This study was led by Dr. Ashraf Brik and post-doctoral fellows.

This team has developed a new chemical compound that has been shown to inhibit cancer stem cells, which are the ones that cause cancer to re-occur. Their findings may lead to the development of new treatments for cancer.

Researchers have discovered peptides that are able to repair damaged DNA. When attached to these ubiquitin chains, such peptides disrupt the said repair mechanism.

The discovery of the ubiquitin system led to the award of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to three researchers:

By binding to the K48-linked ubiquitin chains on protein aggregates, the researchers created molecules to stop protein aggregation.

The disruption gradually leads to the programmed death of cells.

The same study hypothesized that when a strong emotion forms inside a person’s brain, it can kill the cells that form a malignant tumor.

This is why cell damage occurs over time, which can lead to the accumulation of damaged DNA and ultimately to cell death.

When this kind of binding happens, it destroys the cells.

Researchers believe this therapeutic strategy could be more effective than existing anti-cancer drugs. They could also be effective, but doctors already know about their effectiveness.

Read further

Ganga B. Vamisetti et al, Selective macrocyclic peptide modulators of Lys63-linked ubiquitin chains disrupt DNA damage repair, Nature Communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-33808-6

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