Existing Gene Editing Technique Could to Slow Cancer Growthadmin
A group of researchers based at the University of Rochester Medical Center recently used the CRISPR gene-editing technique “to try to eliminate one of the key proteins that allow cancer cells to prolieferate out of control,” Popular Science reported.
CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats – which are “segments of prokaryotic DNA containing short, repetitive base sequences” and form the basis of the genome editing technology that goes by the same name – “that allows permanent modification of genes within organisms.”
This study is the first of its kind, but the researchers believe that in the future using CRISPR in this way could be incorporated into a cancer-treating therapy. Cancer arises from a combination of genetic and environmental factors, but “all spread via uncontrollable cell growth.”
To combat this, “the researchers isolated a protein that is a vital player in this dividing process.” They identified and edited out the protein Tudor-SN, which helps prepare a cell to divide. By eliminating this protein, “the cells weren’t able to divide at the same super-fast rate that they were able to before.”
As previously mentioned, this is study is the first of its kind, and in this instance only focused on kidney and cervical cancer cells, so additional research will need to be done before tests are performed on humans.