A new protein important for the fight against cancer has just been discovered. It reportedly has the ability to differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells, a breakthrough that could lead to the development of new targeted universal cancer treatments, especially for cancers that do not have a dedicated treatment.
The protein called “PIP-stop”, which is a kind of “switch” inside the cell, would be the key to unregulated growth that is observed with tumor cells. This is what a team of researchers has highlighted in a new study published in Nature Communications.
Researchers have found that breast cancer, leukemia, lymphoma and neuroblastoma tumor cells have too much PIP-stop proteins inside the cells and this is what would disrupt normal protein production function for which the cells are provided. The excess of PIP-stop would thus cause diversions of the normal means of production , allowing the cell to multiply in an anarchic way.
What is happening at the molecular level?
This protein is named PIP-stop because it impedes the interaction between proteins and lipid molecules called PIP. At the molecular level, PIP-stop is a phosphate that is inserted on the surface of the lipid binding protein PIP.
Their goal now is to develop PIP-stop inhibitors, via intracellular kinases, in order to stop the progression of cancers, especially for those that are difficult to treat because we do not have specific treatment.