[Cell-biology] Re: Animations of a Possible Cure for Cancer

Cathal Garvey via cellbiol%40net.bio.net (by cathalgarvey from gmail.com)
Tue Nov 15 05:59:33 EST 2011

I seem to recall reading a theoretical article a few years ago that
suggested the use of zinc-finger based logic to detect double deletions
of critical regulatory genes. The premise was that, even without
aneuploidy, many cancer cells will have deleted both alleles of a
critical regulator or two along the way, and detecting these deletions
would permit pretty selective destruction of cancer cells.

The system involved a time-delayed toxin that was inhibited by an
antitoxin. The antitoxin was a split protein conjugated to ubiquitins
and one of two zinc fingers; if the zinc fingers bound adjecent to one
another on an allele, ubiquitin ligase would (theoritically, mind)
ligate the two chimeric proteins, and the reconstituted antitoxin would
protect the cell from death. Clever, but I've not seen it implemented. I
also felt it overcomplicated the first implementation of a fantastic
idea; zinc-finger-mediated protein conjugation by ubiquitin ligase.

By the way, although mature sperm are haploid, the precursor cells
aren't; permanent infertility shouldn't result from a system that
attacks aneuploid cells. Mature eggs are diploid as far as I know, only
"kicking" the second chromosome set upon fertilisation. I may be under a
misapprehension there, though; anyone with more knowledge care to comment?

PGP Public Key: http://bit.ly/CathalGKey

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