25 August 2015
A discovery about the mechanisms of cell division made by researchers at Florida State University could have a major impact on the future of cancer treatments.
A protein called Treslin was found to be responsible for opening up the helicase ring to allow DNA to replicate itself, as well as chemically stimulating it in preparation for this process.
Because cancer is caused by out-of-control cell division, lead researcher Daniel Kaplan believes that the results could lead to a new approach to cancer treatments.
He said: "We think this is really important because now we can take this purified Treslin and the helicase, put them in a tube and watch the chemical modification occur. Then we can add small molecule inhibitors to see if we can inhibit that. That should stop activation of the helicase. That should stop the cancer cells from dividing. You kill cancer cells but not normal cells."
The next step for Dr Kaplan and his team is to establish precisely how a single strand of DNA is separated out during the process of cell reproduction, and whether this could have an impact on other medical treatments.
Posted by Edward Bartel
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