A new discovery a protein in spider webs may help treat cancer

A new discovery a protein in spider webs may help treat cancer  The American Conversation website published a report stating that spider silk may one day be used in the treatment of cancer.  The report explains that there is a protein called "P53" that plays a key role in the body's immune response to cancer, and therefore it is an interesting target for treating the disease, and our bodies depend on this protein to prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing uncontrollably.  Scientists call this protein the "guardian of the genome", because it can stop cells with damaged DNA from turning into cancerous cells, and essentially shutting down the cell if it detects any damage that may cause the cells to grow into tumors.  An appropriate method of treatment In up to 60% of all cancers, B53 is missing or damaged, making this marker the most common among human cancers, so inserting this healthy protein into cancer cells would be an appropriate way to treat the disease.  This method is trickier than it sounds because this protein is bulky and flexible, which means our cells don't produce large amounts of it, it can easily clump together and stop working, and is quickly broken down once it's made.  To find a possible solution to this problem, the scientists looked at how nature deals with similar proteins, only to discover unexpectedly that the proteins that spiders spin in silk are somewhat similar to the protein "B53", which is also large, flexible and can easily clump together.  However, unlike B53, it is covered with a small compact fragment called dominin, which is very stable and can be easily synthesized by the cellular protein production machinery.  In a recently published study, scientists linked a small section of the spider silk protein (Domain) to the human B53 protein, and when they inserted this "fusion protein" into cells in the laboratory, they found that it produced it in very large quantities.  stronger response To test whether the spider silk protein B53 was active, they placed it in cancer cells that contained so-called "reporter genes", which cause the cell to light up if the protein turns on genes that make the cell stop growing.  The fusion protein gave a stronger response than the normal B53 protein, meaning that in principle, spider silk "domain" could be used to increase the protein's ability to shut down cancer cells.  What then? None of the scientists' findings so far amount to a new cancer treatment, but they do open up new possibilities, as they can use this knowledge to design new protein domains that make B53 less flexible and easier to produce.  If they deliver the genetic 'blueprint' for how B53 is made in cells, modified spider silk 'domains' can be embedded to increase the cells' ability to make the protein.  As next steps, scientists will test the ability of healthy human cells to tolerate spider silk proteins, and whether this addition extends the life of the B53 protein inside cells.

The American Conversation website published a report stating that spider silk may one day be used in the treatment of cancer.

The report explains that there is a protein called "P53" that plays a key role in the body's immune response to cancer, and therefore it is an interesting target for treating the disease, and our bodies depend on this protein to prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing uncontrollably.

Scientists call this protein the "guardian of the genome", because it can stop cells with damaged DNA from turning into cancerous cells, and essentially shutting down the cell if it detects any damage that may cause the cells to grow into tumors.

An appropriate method of treatment
In up to 60% of all cancers, B53 is missing or damaged, making this marker the most common among human cancers, so inserting this healthy protein into cancer cells would be an appropriate way to treat the disease.

This method is trickier than it sounds because this protein is bulky and flexible, which means our cells don't produce large amounts of it, it can easily clump together and stop working, and is quickly broken down once it's made.

To find a possible solution to this problem, the scientists looked at how nature deals with similar proteins, only to discover unexpectedly that the proteins that spiders spin in silk are somewhat similar to the protein "B53", which is also large, flexible and can easily clump together.

However, unlike B53, it is covered with a small compact fragment called dominin, which is very stable and can be easily synthesized by the cellular protein production machinery.

In a recently published study, scientists linked a small section of the spider silk protein (Domain) to the human B53 protein, and when they inserted this "fusion protein" into cells in the laboratory, they found that it produced it in very large quantities.

stronger response
To test whether the spider silk protein B53 was active, they placed it in cancer cells that contained so-called "reporter genes", which cause the cell to light up if the protein turns on genes that make the cell stop growing.

The fusion protein gave a stronger response than the normal B53 protein, meaning that in principle, spider silk "domain" could be used to increase the protein's ability to shut down cancer cells.

What then?
None of the scientists' findings so far amount to a new cancer treatment, but they do open up new possibilities, as they can use this knowledge to design new protein domains that make B53 less flexible and easier to produce.

If they deliver the genetic 'blueprint' for how B53 is made in cells, modified spider silk 'domains' can be embedded to increase the cells' ability to make the protein.

As next steps, scientists will test the ability of healthy human cells to tolerate spider silk proteins, and whether this addition extends the life of the B53 protein inside cells.
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