Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer-designed protein triggers self-destruction of Epstein-Barr-infected cancer cells

Date:
June 19, 2014
Source:
University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing
Summary:
A protein molecule, BINDI, has been built to trigger self-destruction of cancer cells infected with the Epstein-Barr virus. Numerous cancers are linked to the Epstein-Barr virus, which can disrupt the body's weeding of old, abnormal, infected and damaged cells. It survives by preventing cells from disintegrating to kill themselves and their invaders. The virus' interference with cell population control may contribute to cancerous overgrowth.

A small chunk of protein (red) bound to the Epstein-Barr virus target protein (gray) was extended to make a much longer protein, left, and then designed to have a rigid folded structure, right, for tight and specific interactions with the target.
Credit: UW Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute

A protein molecule, "BINDI," has been built to trigger self-destruction of cancer cells infected with the Epstein-Barr virus.

Related Articles


Numerous cancers are linked to the Epstein-Barr virus, which can disrupt the body's weeding of old, abnormal, infected and damaged cells.

The Epstein-Barr virus persists for a long time after a bout with mononucleosis or other diseases for which it is responsible. It survives by preventing cells from disintegrating to kill themselves and their invaders. The virus' interference with cell population control may contribute to cancerous overgrowth.

In a June 19 report in the scientific journal Cell, researchers describe how they computer-designed, engineered and tested a protein that overrides the virus' interference. BINDI, they discovered, can prompt Epstein-Barr-infected cancer cell lines to shrivel, disassemble their components and burst into small pieces.

The BINDI protein was created at the UW Institute for Protein Design. (BINDI is an acronym for BHRF1-INhibiting Design acting Intracellularly.)

Lead authors of the paper are Erik Procko of the Department of Biochemistry and Geoffrey Y. Berguig of the Department of Bioengineering, both at the University of Washington. They collaborated with scientists and clinicians at the UW, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Scripps Research Institute.

The research team also tested the protein in a laboratory model of Epstein-Barr virus-positive lymphoma. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that can affect the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood and other areas of the body. The researchers grafted lymphoma tissue onto mice as a living system to evaluate BINDI's therapeutic properties.

The scientists delivered the protein into cancer cells via an antibody-targeted nanocarrier newly designed to deliver protein cargo to intracellular cancer targets. BINDI behaved as ordered: It suppressed tumor growth and enabled the mice to live longer.

"We are especially interested in designing proteins that selectively kill targeted cells," the researchers noted, "because they may provide advantages over current compounds that are toxic to other cells."

The work also demonstrates the potential to develop new classes of intracellular protein drugs, as current protein therapeutics are limited to extracellular targets.

BINDI was designed to recognize and attach itself to an Epstein-Barr virus protein called BHRF1, and to ignore similar proteins. BHRF1 keeps cancer cells alive, but when bound to BINDI, it can no longer fend off cell death.

By examining the crystal structure of BINDI, the scientists saw that it nearly matched their computationally designed architecture for the protein molecule.

"This close agreement between the protein model and the actual structure highlights the success in which designer toxins can be developed," the researchers said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing. The original article was written by Leila Gray. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erik Procko, GeoffreyY. Berguig, BettyW. Shen, Yifan Song, Shani Frayo, AnthonyJ. Convertine, Daciana Margineantu, Garrett Booth, BrunoE. Correia, Yuanhua Cheng, WilliamR. Schief, DavidM. Hockenbery, OliverW. Press, BarryL. Stoddard, PatrickS. Stayton, David Baker. A Computationally Designed Inhibitor of an Epstein-Barr Viral Bcl-2 Protein Induces Apoptosis in Infected Cells. Cell, 2014; 157 (7): 1644 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.04.034

Cite This Page:

University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing. "Computer-designed protein triggers self-destruction of Epstein-Barr-infected cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619125313.htm>.
University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing. (2014, June 19). Computer-designed protein triggers self-destruction of Epstein-Barr-infected cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619125313.htm
University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing. "Computer-designed protein triggers self-destruction of Epstein-Barr-infected cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619125313.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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