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New protein structure model to inhibit cancer

Date:
July 28, 2011
Source:
University of Hertfordshire
Summary:
Researchers in the UK have developed a new structural model of a protein, which makes it possible to develop more effective drugs to target diseases such as cancer, heart disease and influenza.
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Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire have developed a new structural model of a protein, which makes it possible to develop more effective drugs to target diseases such as cancer, heart disease and influenza.

In a paper which being published in the Journal of Structural Biology online, a research team lead by Dr Andreas Kukol at the University's School of Life Sciences, describes how they have developed a new 3D model of a protein which unleashes the inhibition of the growth of cells which, unless stunted, could lead to the spread of cancer or support infections such as influenza.

"Our bodies are made up of proteins and therefore they are important for the proper functioning of the body," said Dr Kukol. "Malfunction of the protein can lead to cancer. This happens when it becomes over active, so our task has been to identify inhibitors."

A research team led by Dr Kukol developed a 3D model of the kinase IKK-β enzyme which is a protein that regulates other proteins.

"This enzyme controls proteins like policeman controls traffic," said Dr Kukol. "If the policeman or the enzyme gets out of control, then there will be chaos."

The new 3D model can be used to find new inhibitors, such as organic molecules like aspirin that attach to the active site of the enzyme and make it less active thus stopping the spread of cancer or influenza.

The model is now ready for pharmaceutical companies to adopt so that they can develop more effective drugs to target these conditions.

Dr Kukol explained that the comparative modeling and computer simulation methods they used for this protein may be taken up by other research groups. In that way protein structure modelling could lead to more accurate models in the future.

A copy of Dr Kukol's paper Structure and dynamics of the kinase IKK-β -- a key regulator of the NF-kappa B transcription factor is available from Hélène Murphy (details below).


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Munishikha Kalia, Andreas Kukol. Structure and dynamics of the kinase IKK-β – a key regulator of the NF-kappa B transcription factor. Journal of Structural Biology, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.jsb.2011.07.012

Cite This Page:

University of Hertfordshire. "New protein structure model to inhibit cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728082410.htm>.
University of Hertfordshire. (2011, July 28). New protein structure model to inhibit cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728082410.htm
University of Hertfordshire. "New protein structure model to inhibit cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728082410.htm (accessed May 26, 2015).

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