Researchers discover novel way to get proteins into tumours

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 16 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1477
  1. Abi Berger, science correspondent
  1. BMJ

    Scientists have discovered a novel way to get cytotoxic proteins into the heart of tumours. Their discovery relies on a structural component produced by the herpes simplex virus which seems to invade cells with great ease. By fusing cytotoxic proteins to this component, the researchers hope to piggyback proteins directly into tumour cells, achieving a “direct hit.”

    Peter O'Hare and his team at the Marie Curie Institute in Surrey observed that the protein known as VP22, which is produced by the herpes simplex virus, is able to spread from a single cell, gaining rapid access through neighbouring cells.

    Under the microscope VP22 is seen to create a “halo effect” around the central cell as it extends outwards, and within 40 hours a whole layer of …

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