How the main enzymes linked to cancer work – sciencedaily

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have moved closer to understanding the behavior of an enzyme that appears to be important for the development of cancer inside cells.

The new study, published in the scientific journal Nature Communication, shows first of all that the METTL13 enzyme makes it possible to control the formation of new proteins in cells.

“Errors in protein production are undesirable, as we know from other studies that they can lead to the development of cancerous tumors and degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. New knowledge about how this enzyme works is important, ”says Professor Jesper Velgaard Olsen of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research.

The enzyme helps control protein synthesis by placing so-called methyl marks on a particular protein called eEF1A.

“If the methyl is not properly attached to the protein, it will not be able to do its job properly. And this again affects the formation of proteins in the cell, which will take place at a suboptimal rate, and even if it does. may not sound so bad, it seems to be linked to some very serious disorders, ”says postdoc Magnus Jakobsson of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research.

Researchers showed how the enzyme works by studying isolated human cancer cells using advanced mass spectrometers which, in short, are able to identify and quantify proteins and their methyl changes in a cell.

Now, the researchers hope the study will lead to the development of methods and drugs that can target and ensure that the enzyme works as intended in our cells.

The study is funded by the Lundbeck Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Foundation, among others.

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Material provided by University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.

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