Sunday, March 19, 2017

New Research into Tumor Selective Viruses

An innovative approach that utilizes the differential expression profiles of certain proteins expressed by tumor cells and healthy cells that functions to promote preference for tropism in tumor cells. Scientists at the IDIBAPS Biomedical Research Institute and at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) lead a study in which they have designed a new strategy to get genetically modified viruses to selectively attack tumor cells without affecting healthy tissues. Researchers used adenovirus as the viral vector and manipulated the expression of the specific type host cell protein, CPEBs, to allow for this differentiation in tropism. CPEB is a family of four RNA binding proteins, the molecules that carry information from genes to synthesize proteins, that control the expression of hundreds of genes and maintain the functionality and the ability to repair tissues under normal conditions. When CPEBs become imbalanced, they change the expression of these genes in cells and contribute to the development of pathological processes such as cancer. The vector was then manipulated to favorably recognize CPEB proteins and their states of CPEB1 and CPEB4, which upon simplification, allows the virus to selectively determine which cells are tumorigenic and favorably infect them. This type of research has been in development for a long while now with few breakthrough, however, continued research is providing more hope into the treatment of cancers with non-other than a major pathogenic agent.

-Ethan Wentworth 

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