NOVEL IMMUNO-BOOSTERONCOLYTIC PROTEINØ Background: “Proteins are the workhorses ofthe cell.
” This is, no doubt, anauthentic statement about proteins. From their discovery up to now these arebelieved to be the main biomolecule for maintaining all regulatory andstructural activities of the body. Scientists are working from years in orderto explore new proteins and this passion always leads them to new discoveriesand innovations.
Millions of proteins have been discovered, performingtremendous functions inside human body. In a recent research, investigators fromImperial College, UK, have discovered an incredible novel protein named as LEM Protein, Lymphocyte Expansion Molecule thatboosts body’s own immune system to fight against cancer in such a way that wasnot possible in past.Said: by the leadinvestigator, Professor Philip Ashton-Richard, Department of medicine atImperial College, UK. “This is acompletely unknown protein. Nobody had ever seen it before or was evenaware that it existed. It looks and acts like no other protein.”Ø Discussion: When scientists were doing research on mice with geneticmutation (cancer), they found a strain of mice that produces Cytotoxic T-cells 10 times more thannormal mice, when it was infected.Thesestrains not only suppressed the infection more effectively but were also moreresistant to cancer.
They were alsoinvolved in the production of another type of T-cells named memory cells, which recognize theinfections they had encountered earlier and produce rapid response.T cells are the part of our immune system, which killscells that have become cancerous or infected with germs. When cancer cells arein low concentration inside body, immune system responds by sending T cells tocancerous location, so that T cells kill them. But as we know that the reproduction rate of cancerous cell is muchhigher than normal cells, so due to their rapid reproduction rate, immunesystem becomes incapable of releasing new T cells at same rate. It becomesdifficult for T cells to kill cancerous cells. Themice with increased immunity set off high level of protein named as LEM- Lymphocyte expansion molecule. The experiments performed on mice showed thatthis protein make a rapid increase innumber of T-cells, which kill cancerous cells.
Hence, make mice resistantto cancer.Thisdiscovery was quite unpredicted because this new protein had no resemblance toany protein moreover its function was also unknown.Ø AIM:If all goes well, We hope to be ready to carry out human trials in about three years.
ProfessorPhilip Ashton-Richard (Department of Medicine) By the discovery of LEM, the researchers now aim todevelop a gene therapy that can help in treatment of cancer. Gene therapy willbe designed in such a way that it can improve the immune system of cancerpatient by increasing the rate of T cells production in patients with cancer byinjecting LEM protein gene, that will ultimately help immunesystem to fight against cancer. Ø Advantages: If we succeed in developing this gene therapy,this LEM protein will eradicate the use of harsh treatment methods of cancertreatment like chemotherapy; whichkills healthy cells along with cancerous cells. Such treatments just let ustime, but are not proper cure of cancer.Dr.Claudio Mauro, who led the research from the Centre for BiochemicalPharmacology, based within Queen Mary University of London’s William HarveyResearch Institute, said: “Its benefits are farmore as it can help in explaining the biological mechanisms of widespread humandiseases involving altered immune and inflammatory responses.
These includechronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, such as atherosclerosis andrheumatoid arthritis.” Ø References:1. Knapton,Sarah (16 April 2015). “Scientists find key to ‘turbo-charging’immune system to kill all cancers”. Telegraph.
co.uk. the Telegraph.
Retrieved 8September 2017.2. Okoyeat al. (April 2015). “The protein LEM promotes CD8+ T cell immunitythrough effects on mitochondria respiration”.
Doi:10.1126/science.aaa7516.3. PreviouslyUnknown Protein Boosts Immunity to Cancer and Viruses. 20154.
‘Game-changing’ new way to fight cancer discovered