Research

Using Viruses to Kill Cancer Cells

Hokkaido University scientists have made an adenovirus that specifically replicates inside and kills cancer cells by employing special RNA-stabilizing elements. The details of the research were published in the journal Cancers.

Much research in recent years has investigated genetically modifying adenoviruses to kill cancers, with some currently being tested in clinical trials. When injected, these adenoviruses replicate inside cancer cells and kill them. Scientists are trying to design more efficient viruses, which are better able to target cancer cells while leaving normal cells alone.

Hokkaido University molecular oncologist Fumihiro Higashino led a team of scientists to make two new adenoviruses that specifically target cancer cells. To do this, they used ‘adenylate-uridylate-rich elements’ (AREs), which are signals in RNA molecules known to enhance the rapid decay of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) in human cells. “AREs make sure that mRNAs don’t continue to code for proteins unnecessarily in cells,” explains Higashino. “Genes required for cell growth and proliferation tend to have AREs.”

Read the full article from Asia Research News

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

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