In what could be a pathbreaking finding in the cancer treatment, a drug is under development that targets the tumours and stops them from spreading. The cancer drug will have the potential to stop the disease by destroying the tumour's survival mechanism.
The drug, which is yet to be named, helps stop a tumour from spreading by targeting a particular enzyme which triggers the spread, a research stated.
The drug controls the tumour's ability to survive by stopping it from attaching to the protein it requires to grow.
This anti-cancer medication attaches itself to a specific protein in the cancerous cells' membrane. The protein is dehydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH).
The researchers examined how the fats and drugs attach to DHODH. "Our simulations show the enzyme uses a few lipids as anchors in the membrane," study author Dr Erik Marklund, from Uppsala University, was quoted as saying by Mail Online
"When binding to these lipids, a small part of the enzyme folds into an adapter that allows the enzyme to lift its natural substrate [the substance an enzyme acts on] out of the membrane. It seems the drug, since it binds in the same place, takes advantage of the same mechanism," said Dr Marklund.
It's not known yet when exactly this anti-cancer drugs will be available.
"The study helps to explain why some drugs bind differently to isolated proteins and proteins that are inside cells," said study author David Lane, from the Karolinska Institute, in Sweden, told Phys.Org.
"By studying the native structures and mechanisms for cancer targets, it may become possible to exploit their most distinct features to design new, more selective therapeutics," Lane said further.
The findings were published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology.