Targeting the cell’s master controller: Myc

For the field of cancer biology, designing drugs against a molecule that many deem ‘undruggable’ has seemed like a distant possibility. But scientists don’t give up easily. The molecule in question is called Myc. And it’s is a powerful controller, switching genes on and off to dictate when cells live, die or multiply.

It’s also frequently faulty in cancer, with close to seven out of ten cancers carrying overactive versions of this molecule. Switching Myc off looks a promising tactic for treating many cancers, but its complex characteristics have made it tricky to target with drugs.

“Unlike most protein molecules, Myc doesn’t have a defined 3D shape that we could design targeted drugs to fit into,” says lead researcher Professor Richard Bayliss from the University of Leeds.

“So instead the strategy is to try and target Myc’s interactions with other molecules. “Myc doesn’t have a defined 3D shape that we could design targeted drugs to fit into” “And our work gives us the confidence that this can be done.” Read more.

25th November 2016