Light Rain
12°CWed :Showers. High: 16 Low: 8

`Death carrot` could help treat cancer

`Death carrot` could help treat cancer

London: A pretty yellow Mediterranean plant, sometimes called the “death carrot”, is being developed into a potential new drug for treating cancer by an international team of researchers.

Even though Thapsia garganica plant looks innocent enough, it contains thapsigargin and is highly toxic to sheep and cattle.

This lethal plant could find a new use by targeting and killing cancer cells.

It kills cells, including cancer cells, by blocking a protein called SERCA, which helps cells control their internal calcium levels.

The real challenge lies in harnessing the power of this toxic substance, driving it into killing just the cancer cells and leaving the healthy cells alone.

Samuel Denmeade, an oncologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has taken on the difficult task.

Denmeade and his team spent 15 years engineering an analogue of thapsigargin, which is an active ingredient of the plant, to fight cancer cells exclusively.

His team modified the thapsigargin molecule by adding an extra peptide chain which prevents the toxin from entering cells.

That is, until it encounters PSMA – an enzyme commonly found on the surface of many prostate cancer cells. PSMA cleaves the extra chain off the toxin, setting it free to do its devastating business.

While traditional chemotherapy drugs only target cells that rapidly divide, this new toxin destroys not just the cancer cells currently growing, but also those lying dormant as well as non-cancer cells recruited to help the tumour grow.

“You can envision it as a grenade,” New Scientist quoted Denmeade as saying.

“One guy pulls the pin, but it kills all the guys standing around,” he said,

The study has been recently published in Science Translational Medicine.

 

Top Stories

bjp-lost-17-seats-in-haryana-by-a-narrow-margin

BJP lost 17 seats in Haryana by a thin edge

October-22-2014
NEW DELHI: The BJP’s triumph in Haryana can’t simply be surveyed through the quantity of seats the gathering won additionally by the
44895643.cms

Sunny Leone’s Special Birthday surprise For Husband Daniel Weber

October-21-2014
Sunny Leone had masterminded an unique birthday festival for her spouse Daniel Weber in Thailand. A couple of days prior, Daniel had
IndiaTv1611f0_cfc

ISL mentors among a few peering toward India work

October-21-2014
PANAJI: There is life past the commotion and fervor of the Indian Super group, particularly for the mentors on obligation. Most mentors
06-rupee6

Rupee picks up 8 paise against dollar in early trade

October-21-2014
MUMBAI: Extending its climbing streak for the third straight day, the rupee increased in value by 8 paise to 61.28 against the
IndiaTv568462_akhilesh

Akhilesh Yadav the CM of UP gets feel of power crisis

October-21-2014
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his bureau got a direct knowledge of the dismal force situation in the state
BJP flag

Maharashtra: Congress hits once more at NCP, says will never help Shiv Sena

October-21-2014
New Delhi: Senior Congress pioneer Ajay Maken hit over at National Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar by saying that the gathering will