New discovery "tailor-made" anti-cancer drugs

According to the physicist organization network recently, scientists from Australia's Walter and Elisha Howe Institute (WEHI) and other units have customized a new drug for cancer "tailored" that can contain a cell called BCL-XL Protein, this protein will promote the survival of cancer cells, so that many anti-cancer measures are not effective. The researchers pointed out that this is an important step towards the design of new anti-cancer drugs.

BCL-XL is a member of the BCL-2 family of pro-survival proteins and can prevent cell death. This drug, called WEHI-539, is specifically designed to bind to BCL-XL protein and suppress its effect, thereby restoring the cell's ability to die. Death and removal of abnormal cells in the body are an important protective measure against cancer development. But in solid tumors, BCL-XL is often overexpressed, producing high levels of BCL-XL protein to make cancer cells very long-lived. They are also associated with the deterioration of lung cancer, gastric cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer, making malignant tumor Cells can resist many cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy.

Suppressing BCL-XL can increase the apoptosis response, and thus may be widely used in cancer treatment without suppressing many members of the BCL-2 family. WEHI-539 is a selective inhibitor specifically for BCL-XL, which is expected to minimize the toxicity of the drug to normal tissues.

WEHI-539 belongs to a class of chemicals called "BH3", they can be combined with BCL-XL and related proteins in the same area. It is the work of Guillaume Lesena and others of the ACRF Chemical Biology Division of the Institute. The results of a long-term research project in collaboration with Roche Group ’s genetic technology experts.

"We are very pleased that the research team has developed a compound that specifically suppresses BCL-XL, which is a pinnacle of research work. WEHI-539 is the first drug that our chemists have developed from scratch, and also used BCL-XL XL's three-dimensional structure is used to construct and improve drug design. "Lesena said that the development of WEHI-539 was an important milestone on the road to creating possible new anticancer drugs. Although WEHI-539 has not yet reached the optimal use effect, it is a valuable tool that can be used to distinguish the function of BCL-XL from its peers in order to analyze in detail how BCL-XL regulates cancer cells.


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