It has been just revealed that there is a study revealing an antibody that could revolutionize breast cancer treatment. Check out the latest reports about the amazing discovery below.
Antibody could revolutionize breast cancer treatment
An antibody created by the lab of Nicholas Tonks, a professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, has the potential to halt the spread of some breast cancers by targeting an enzyme called PTPRD that is overproduced in certain types of breast cancers. PTPRD is a member of the protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) family and plays a key role in regulating various cellular processes.
It works alongside kinases to control the behavior of proteins inside cells. While kinases add phosphates to proteins, PTPs remove them. With further development, the antibody could become an effective drug treatment for these types of breast cancers.
Disruptions in the addition or removal of phosphates can lead to inflammation, diabetes, and cancer. Kinase-blocking drugs can correct some of these disruptions. However, the effectiveness of such drugs is limited as many patients develop resistance to kinase inhibitors over time.
Developing drugs that control PTP activity could have a significant impact on human health. Unfortunately, such drugs have been challenging to develop. Tonks, who discovered PTPs as a postdoctoral researcher, believes that these enzymes are an untapped resource for drug development.
The pharmaceutical industry has been targeting kinases for over two decades, but PTPs remain largely unexplored.
Enzymes can often be inhibited with small molecules that block the part of the enzyme responsible for its function. However, this method does not work for PTPs like PTPRD. Therefore, alternative strategies need to be developed to inhibit its activity.
A graduate student named Zhe Qian has invented a new type of PTP blocker that can inhibit PTPRD’s activity. This blocker is a synthetic antibody, which is a molecule that can recognize and bind to a specific target in a particular way.
PTPRD molecules are located in the outer membranes of cells with protruding portions both inside and outside the membrane.
To design his antibody, Qian targeted two PTPRD molecules from outside the cell simultaneously.
Promising Results and Future ProspectsIn the Tonks lab, Qian and colleagues conducted a study which revealed that when the antibody binds to its target, it brings pairs of PTPRD proteins closer together, rendering them inactive.
This not only hinders the functioning of PTPRD but also leads to the destruction of the protein.
The study demonstrated that breast cancer cells grown in the lab become less invasive with this process.
Tonks and Qian suggest that a similar approach can be used to block the enzyme that promotes metastasis in breast cancer patients.
Tonks also suggests that the combination of this approach with a kinase-targeting drug can be particularly effective.