[dropcap]I[/dropcap]SLAMABAD – The technique called “mitopriming” was developed as a research tool while trying to understand how cancer cells die. Mito-priming can be applied to identify new anti-cancer drugs to screen their effectiveness.
According to the research paper, BH3-mimetics are a promising new class of cancer drugs developed to specifically kill tumour cells. They target a family of proteins called BCL-2 proteins, which function to keep cancer cells alive. While not yet in use in clinical practice, BH3-mimetic anticancer drugs are showing promise in late-stage clinical trials, particularly in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Stephen Tait, the lead author of the paper, said, “Mito-priming can be used to rapidly screen for new BH3-mimetics and other anti-cancer drugs, and should improve ways to kill cancer cells. It can also be used to rapidly define the potency and specificity of BH3-mimetics.” Finally , the technique will allow us to under stand how drug resistance occurs thereby allowing us to prevent this from happening in the first place, he added.
“There is currently a lot of interest in targeting BCL2 proteins in the fight against cancer and there will be new therapies emerging in the future,” Tait said. The scientists developed mito-priming by producing equal amounts of toxic and protective BCL-2 proteins in cells.
“Cells in this state are very sensitive to inhibition of protective BCL-2 function by BH3-mimetics, such that they die within a few minutes of drug addiction,” Tait said.