A team from Bar-Ilan University focused on destroying WASP in malignant cells
Researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Israel have unveiled a new therapeutic approach in the fight against hematologic cancer.
The new method, developed by Professor Mira Burda-Saad and their research team from the Faculty of Life Sciences Mina and Everard Goodman, involves attacking a cytoskeletal protein called WASP, which has a unique structural position in cells. Activated hematologic cancer cells.
Bar-Ilan’s team focused on destroying WASP in malignant cells and demonstrated that degradation of WASP helps to destroy them.
Their research was recently published in the journal nature communication.
To date, the involvement of WASP in cancer is not fully understood, but it is found in cancer cells in a unique “open” structure that allows it to be recognized and manipulated.
To prevent damage to the cytoskeleton of the malignant cell, the research team performed a screening to identify SMCs (small molecule compounds) that degrade the WASP compound to its “open” structural state.
Using a tool developed by Professor Yanai Ofran from Bar-Ilan, Professor Burda-Saad’s lab identified small molecules that, in fact, damage cancer cells without posing too much risk to healthy cells. .
An ongoing 2015 study, which received funding from the Israel Innovation Authority, may provide answers to types of hematological cancer for which no cure has yet been found.
“This process is lengthy and tedious as it requires a thorough understanding of how cells work and the differences between cancer cells and healthy cells. In this research, we used the vast knowledge we had gained to design a strategy. that can be put into practice, ”said Prof. Burda-Saad.
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