- A novel small molecule, designed and synthesised by Indian researchers, has shown promise in targeted killing of cancer cells.
- The molecule (Disarib) works by binding itself to a protein called BCL2. While BCL2 protein is produced in excess in cancer cells, its expression is almost undetectable in normal cells. Hence, Disarib targets and kills only cancer cells while sparing normal cells.
- Inside a cell there is always a balance between proteins that promote cell death (apoptosis) and those that suppress cell death.
- Since the proteins (BAX and BAK) that promote cell death get bound to BCL2, normal cell death is suppressed and cancer cells are able to live longer.