"game changer" in cancer research: Würzburg researchers make a breakthrough

In the creation and development of almost all cancers to play MYC genes and their proteins play a central role. They do this uncontrolled growth and the altered metabolism from tumor cells. And they help tumors trying to hide from the immune system.

MYC proteins also show an activity that was previously unknown – and that of the Cancer research is now opening new doors: They camp too hollow spheres together, protective around special sensitive parts of the genome lay. If you destroy the bullets, the cancer cells die. This is reported by a research team led by Martin Eilers and Elmar Wolf from the Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg (JMU) in the journal Nature. The professors are convinced that their discovery will “Game changer” for cancer research is and new ways in the cancer therapy allows.

Weak point discovered in cancer cells – “hollow spheres” protect important enzymes

What the team discovered: Are cells in the lab taking stress conditions kept those in quick growing tumor cells are similar, the MYC proteins are stored in the nucleus in a dramatic way. They combine to form hollow spheres made up of thousands of MYC proteins. These surround and protect individuals, particularly sensitive areas in the genome – exactly the places where two types of enzymes collide can: enzymes that read DNA and enzymes that duplicate DNA. Both you can feel like two trains imagine that on just a DNA track on the way.

The hollow spheres thus prevent the two “enzyme locos” collide. The Würzburg team was able to confirm this observation in cancer cells protective function of the protein balls experimentally, it comes to Collisions of the enzymes and as a consequence to multiple breaks in the DNA – which ultimately leads to death of the cancer cells.

“These observations revolutionize our understanding of why MYC proteins are so crucial for growth of tumor cells are,” says Martin Eilers. The new findings also raise the question of whether medication can develop who who Formation of the hollow spheres specifically prevent.

Basis for saving drugs – researchers found their own company

To drive this development forward, Eilers and Wolf have one company founded. Together with the university and partners from the pharmaceutical industry the search for drugs that interfere with the newly discovered functions of the MYC proteins was started. “That investors enabled us to found a company so quickly is certainly not commonplace,” say the JMU professors. They also see this as a sign that they have made a discovery that is very promising is.

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