Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer gene therapy from camels

Date:
July 14, 2011
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
Nanobodies produced from camel blood have unique properties, which can be used in future drug development. New research confirms that camel blood can help scientists in the fight against cancer.

Nanobodies produced by camels have unique properties, which can be used in future drug development. New research published in the Journal of Controlled Release confirms that nanobodies can help scientists in the fight against cancer.

Members of the camelid family have particular heavy-chain antibodies in their blood known as nanobodies, that may serve as therapeutic proteins. One of the most powerful advantages of nanobodies is that they can be easily attached to other proteins and nanoparticles by simple chemical procedures.

Scientists at the Department of Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, have designed nanoparticle systems of smaller than 150nm that are decorated with nanobodies expressing high specificity for the cancer marker Mucin-1, which is connected to breast and colon cancer.

Research supports aim for safer nanomedicines

"This is a very effective and a highly promising approach in experimental cancer gene therapy, while minimising adverse-related reactions to cancer nanomedicines. Futhermore the research supports our aim for rational design and engineering of effective and safer nanomedicines for the future. We have taken the first step, but of course more work is needed to support the efficacy of this system for cancer treatment," says Professor Moein Moghimi.

Professor Moghimi works at the Department of Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences where he heads the Centre for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology, which is supported by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The procedures for camel immunisation, generation and purification of the Mucin-1 nanobody were done by Dr. Fatemeh Rahbarizadeh's team at the Medical Biotechnology Department of the Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran. Dr. Rahbarizadeh is currently visiting scientist at the University of Copenhagen.

Two postdocs, Davoud Ahmadvand and Ladan Parhamifar, from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, were also involved in this work.

Size and properties matter

Compared to other protein-based drugs, nanobodies are very small. They are ten times smaller than intact antibodies. They are also less sensitive to temperature and pH changes and can be easily linked to nanoparticles and other proteins. These properties make nanobodies very interesting for targeting of cancer cells.

The recently published article in the Journal of Controlled Relase describes how a Mucin-1 nanobody was linked to specialised nanoparticles made from polymers carrying a killer gene known at truncated-Bid. When expressed, the gene product triggers cells to commit suicide.

However, the expression of the killer gene was under the control of the cancer-specific Mucin-1 promoter as to avoid non-specific cell killing. These procedures are also referred to as "transcriptional targeting," which can prevent normal tissue toxicities associated with other cancer treatments. Indeed, the formulation proved to be highly effective in killing cancer cells expressing the Mucin-1 marker, while no harm was done to the normal cells or cancer cells that did not express the Mucin-1 marker.

The efficacy of these nanoparticles is now being tested in animal models.

Another exciting development is that the team has now purified a second and a highly effective nanobody against another cancer marker (Her-2) expressed by certain breast tumors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Copenhagen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elham Sadeqzadeh, Fatemeh Rahbarizadeh, Davoud Ahmadvand, Mohammad J. Rasaee, Ladan Parhamifar, S. Moein Moghimi. Combined MUC1-specific nanobody-tagged PEG-polyethylenimine polyplex targeting and transcriptional targeting of tBid transgene for directed killing of MUC1 over-expressing tumour cells. Journal of Controlled Release, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2011.06.022

Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "Cancer gene therapy from camels." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714101511.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2011, July 14). Cancer gene therapy from camels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714101511.htm
University of Copenhagen. "Cancer gene therapy from camels." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714101511.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins