A new pathway for inhibition of metastasis has been discovered by the scientists at the Georgia State University. The discovery has been published in latest edition of the journal Nature Communications. This has lead to new hope in finding drugs that can help cure cancer
Cell Migration Proteins
The students of professors Zhi Ren Liu and Jenny Lang from the biochemistry department of GSU have indulged in cell migration studies as part of this research. Cell migration is an important aspect of metastasis of cancerous cells. During the course of the study the scientists discovered two protein types that prevent this process, namely – calcium calmodulin and p68 RNA helicase.
The interaction between these 2 proteins is essential for cell migration. If this interaction is interrupted, then the migration of cells can be inhibited. In other words, spread of cancerous cells to other parts of the body can be inhibited.
Calcium Signaling Systems as Therapeutics
According to Liu, cancer at a primary site can be managed and is not fatal. It is the metastasis that makes it uncontrollable and leads to death. Calcium calmodulin is a protein messenger that acts by turning many other proteins on and off. It functions through change in calcium levels of the cells.
This calcium signaling system can be used to modulate the pathway and treat diseases. Apart from providing a solution and target for cancer, it can also help patients with neurodegenerative disorders, inflammatory conditions and heart diseases. The discovery of these two protein pathways has opened new doors in drug discovery efforts that can help fight deadly diseases.