A new study argues that the treatment for cancer, along with a large selection of other lethal diseases, could be found within the complicated mechanisms of the human cells. The researchers uncovered the critical step in the production of proteasomes, which are the specialized proteins of a cell responsible for the effective disposal of protein waste. Controlled manipulation of this process could provide a reliable cancer cure.
In one way, we can think of proteasomes as a recycling center within the cell. After the proteins produced in a cell perform their target task, they have to be removed. Proteasomes can harvest these cells and transform the residual matter into amino acid building blocks which can be used by the cell to create other proteins.
It is now known that proteasomes are composed of more than 60 protein subunits, but they require help from specialized assembling proteins to form correctly. After the proteasome is assembled the helper proteins release it and begin to work on a new one. The main question of the study was represented by the nature of the signals used to trigger the release process, blocking researchers from understanding how the final phase of the process takes place.
Cancer Cure Might Rely On A Mechanism Within Human Cells
The team of researchers was able to reach a landmark discovery. As the building process is approaching completion, the proteasome will alter its shape to allow the helping proteins to complete the final stage. When the task is finished, the proteasome will suddenly revert to its original form, forcing the helping proteins to leave before its journey begins.
One of the researchers has declared that the understanding of this process could allow specialists to harness the power of proteasomes to tackle certain diseases. A cancer cure can also be possible.
Cancer cells employ a higher number of proteasomes to keep the number of mutated proteins under control and extend their life. If the team can break this process without affecting normal cells, a tool which destroys cancer cells could become available at some point in the future.