Northwestern Medicine scientists have conducted a recent study, which report that a toxin that can cause lethal infections in persons with liver disease has the potential to prevent the growth of tumors.
"A toxin protein from the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus
can inhibit tumor cell growth by cutting the protein Ras," researchers said.
"Ras is important for cell proliferation in cancer, so the toxin could potentially be developed as a treatment for different types of tumors," said Prof. Karla Satchell, Microbiology-immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, USA.
"The bacterium uses the MARTX (multifunctional-auto processing repeats-in-toxin) toxin protein to inactivate Ras, increasing its own virulence and allowing it to spread throughout the host," the study said.
"It has been known that Ras has a role in cancer development and targeting Ras has been one of the hardest challenges of cancer research and drug discovery," Satchell said.