The following research has been conducted by the members of Pathogenesis Markers OpenLab in cooperation with the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology and the Institute of Biochemistry of the University of Giessen.
Scientists give attention to microbial ribonuclease produced by Bacillus pumilus and named binase. It is worth noting, that antitumor and antiviral performance of this fermentation process was discovered by Kazan University staff back during the USSR era. The key advantage of this protein is its selective effect: ribonuclease destroys certain cancer cells without any impact on healthy cells.
There is no such thing as universal chemotherapy. Numerous research works in this sphere indicate that in many cases medicines can be effective only for a specific type of tumor cell and cannot affect similar cells simultaneously. As such, the primary goal of the researchers is to identify oncogenes, which could become a target for fermentation and to determine its selective activity.
“At the moment we have proven the efficiency of the impact binase has on tumor cells, producing such oncogenes as RAS, KIT and AML1-ETO” explains Project Head Olga Ilinskaya, Head of KFU Microbiology Department. “It is important to note that the RAS oncogene is present in the majority of tumor cells. However today, we can, first of all, can speak about the ability of Bacillus pumilus' nuclease to treat various types of blood cancers, since the tumor cells of this type also produce aforementioned oncogenes including acute myeloid leukemia”.
Despite the fact, that the drug is still undergoing pre-clinical studies, scientists have already developed the testing system, which will allow monitoring of how beneficial the drug is for treatment.
From the potential medical usage point of view it is important to know the process of cancer cell destruction, e.g. in the case of necrosis, a membrane of the cell lacerates, contents are released and cause inflammation. Affected by the binase the apoptosis takes place in the cells, which express the oncogen. During this process, contents of the cell part without membrane penetration and then are absorbed by neighbor-cells.
The findings have been published in the journals: “Molekulyarnaya Biologiya”, “Toxicon”, and “Cell cycle”. Additionally, the researchers are currently seeking commercial opportunities to produce quantum satis of the pure drug in order to start the first stage of clinical studies.