It is a malignant disease that affects the entire lymphatic System: lymphatic cancer glands. Now, researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany have tested a new mechanism of action against cancer cells successfully. The lymphatic onzellen get, so to speak, a deadly digestive disorder, scientists say.
Researchers at the University of Bonn have discovered with US colleagues, an unusual mechanism against lymphomas. They used a drug that was discovered more than ten years ago at the University of Bonn – a so-called Aptamer.
The molecule binds to a protein complex on the cell surface. This is then taken into the cancer cell and interferes with the transcription of the genes. The study is published in the journal “Cell Chemical Biology”.
Thus, Aptamers work
Aptamers are short sequences of DNA or the related RNA. You are able to be very specific to certain structures attach. The study used an Aptamer C10.36 certain cancer cells, the so-called Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma binds to the surface.
“The exact goal was, however, up to now unknown,” explains Günter Mayer from the LIMES Institute of the University of Bonn. “You knew that it is absorbed after binding to the cell and shortly thereafter, dies.”
Mayer has conducted with colleagues from the US company Caris Life Sciences to the cause of this observation – with success: The researchers were able to identify as a target a complex of at least 13 proteins. Surprisingly, some of these proteins have the ability to modify Genabschriften.
In this process, the transcripts are fragmented, disturbing parts removed and the Rest re-glued together. This mechanism is referred to as “splicing” (English: splicing). He is immensely important: A fault may lead to the death of the cell.
Deadly “Digestive Disorder”
May be this is also the actual mechanism of action of C10.36: If the Aptamer to the protein binds to the complex, to the cancer cell does not go unnoticed. They responded by putting the affected portion of the membrane and the active substance, together with the splice proteins in Minnesota.
These seem to be the lymphoma cell to be literally hard to stomach: “We suspect that the ingested proteins to intervene in the splicing process and disturb him,” says Mayer. “As a consequence, the cell dies eventually.”
The scientists have investigated whether other cells have the found splice-complex on their surface. “There are a number of different Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas,” explains Mayer. “In all of the types that we have studied, we have been able to find.”
New therapy Option for other types of cancer?
In addition, studies show that there are also diseases other cancer, which are characterized by similar surface proteins. May the work opens the way to a new therapy Option that is effective against a number of cancer types.
First, the researchers intend to corroborate their results. The study was conducted with human cancer cells grown for many years in the laboratory. In a next step, the researchers plan to take cells from patients and to repeat the experiments.
“In addition, we are interested in why the lymphoma cells wear all Complexes of splicing proteins on their surface,” says Mayer. Actually, these carry out their work, namely in the cell nucleus. “Maybe you play an important role in the pathogenesis of the disease”, says the biochemist. “What exactly, we don’t know yet.”