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New Enzyme Targets For Selective Cancer Therapies

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Fight against many cancers has become easy thanks to important discoveries clinical research and scientific technological advances.

At a lab in the University of Alberta, there could be a possibility for finding a new and more selective therapy for cancer. Researchers claim to have developed a compound that effectively targets specific enzymes that are over expressed in specific cancers. The effectiveness of these tests have been proven with the help of cells from brain tumours. A first of its kind inhibitor has been synthesized by the scholar of chemistry Christopher Cairo and his team that will slow down the working of an enzyme neuraminidase.


Human cells also use their own forms of these enzymes that have the same mechanisms for various purposes in many biological purposes and k quantities in glioblastoma cells that are a form of brain cancer cells. A new study has revealed that glioblastoma cells that are found within a tumor and enhance cancer growth can be turned into normal cells. All this is possible with the help of Cairo’s inhibitor that was put under test by a team from the National Cancer Institute.


The compound is also believed to have the ability to stop the cells from growing further, pointing the importance of this mechanism for therapeutics. The Nature journal Cell Death & Disease also has the results of these efforts in the issue of 22 August.




A researcher added that this was the time that a selective neuraminidase deterrent was casting an impact in human cancer cells.




It seems like it would take a long time to reach the successful drug since justifying the compound deterring the neuraminidase enzyme in cancer causing cells is a concrete move in assuring its potential.



But presently, the compound is yet to take the form to be used as a drug. As explained by researchers, it was not meant to create gaps in the blood and brain making it all the more tougher to attain the required cells. The compound had to be used in high concentrations in Milan.


This research extends our understanding of the importance of carbohydrates in the functioning of cells. According to common belief, glucose i.e. blood sugar is the only important sugar in biology,

but little do we know that there is an entire area of research that is focused on understanding the working of complex carbohydrate in cells. It is known as glycobiology.



Carbohydrate structures in the human body cover the cell surface and affect how they interact with each other and with pathogens. Scientists claimed for decades that the carbohydrate structures found on cancer cells differ from those on found normal cells. For instance, many cancer cells have been found to contain different qualities of residues like salicylic acid, or have different arrangements of similar residues.




The carbohydrates present on the cell surface explain the mutual interaction of it with other cells that tends to hold them necessary in cancer.

The human cells experience four different iso-enzymes. One of them plays a huge role in promoting cancer and therefore it is important to target the right one. In case the wrong one is targeted, you are most likely to have adverse effects. Various kinds of side effects have been witnessed in the past which makes it important to be extra careful while focusing on the required cell.


These enzymes have been under consideration for the past 5 years. The achievements that we have had in our basket, have been rightful approval of our strategy, development of a selective neuraminidase inhibitor and a cell application underlining the enzyme.