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Cancer Cells Killed More Effectively by Novel Peptide as Compared to Current Therapies

by Kathy Jones on January 24, 2011 at 2:16 PM
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 Cancer Cells Killed More Effectively by Novel Peptide as Compared to Current Therapies

A novel peptide that can act as a potent inducer of cancer cell death has been discovered by scientists. This finding may have significant implications for therapeutic agents used to treat cancer.

Researchers from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School suggested that the amphipathic tail-anchoring peptide, or ATAP, might provide more successful outcomes in cancer treatment than the BH3 peptide-based therapy currently used.

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Recent advances in cancer research have focused on the use of peptides to initiate apoptosis, or the death of cancer cells. Bcl-2 homology domain-3 (BH3) peptides are potent therapeutic agents that are currently used in cancer treatment.

However, BH3-based therapy has some limitations, as cancer cells often acquire resistance to treatment by producing anti-apoptic proteins that inhibit this type of treatment.
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In studying alternate strategies to induce cancer cell death, the researchers discovered that ATAP was unaffected by anti-apoptic proteins and could successfully induce the death of cancer cells that are resistant to BH3-mediated therapy.

"Our study indicates that ATAP has a potential advantage over BH3 peptides as a therapeutic agent for cancer because it evades anti-apoptic proteins that cause cancer tumors to become resistant to therapy," said Jianjie Ma, lead author of the study.

The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Source: ANI
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