Scientists at the U.S. University of Southern California (USC), Michelson Centre for Convergent Bioscience and Nagoya University’s Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules in Japan have developed a new drug that shows potential to stop cancer cells’ growth.
The findings, which were published in the journal Science Advances, indicated that the drug has the potential to stunt the cancer cells’ biological clock.
What the drug does is to interfere with the cancer cells’ metabolism and circadian (24-hour cycle) functions in other to stop their growth without harming healthy cells.
Scientists found that a molecule named GO289 targets an enzyme that controls the cell’s circadian rhythm.
This drug-protein interaction then disrupts the functions of four other proteins that are important for cell growth and survival.
GO289 can jam the cogs of the cell’s circadian clock, slowing its cycles, with little impact to healthy cells, according to the research.
Speaking on the development, Steve Kay, Director of Convergent Biosciences at the USC Michelson Centre, said:
“In some cancers, the disease takes over the circadian clock mechanism and uses it for the evil purpose of helping itself grow.”
“With GO289, we can interfere with those processes and stop the cancer from growing.”
He further expressed optimism about the findings.
“This could become an effective new weapon that kills cancer,” he said.
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