A bio-drug from turmeric to treat cancer
- CSIR-Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology(CCMB) scientists in collaboration with CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory(NCL) announced that they have made progress towards developing a non-toxic bio-drug.
- It is derived from turmeric through a gene silencing approach to treat cancer.
- Leading cause of death worldwide - nearly 10 million deaths in 2020.
- Need for development of novel strategies to combat cancer - chemo is toxic.
- Also called Biologic agent or biological agent.
- A substance made from a living organism or its products.
- Used in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer and other diseases.
- Includes antibodies, vaccines.
- A complex compound - cellular protein synthesis.
- Even replaces DNA as a carrier of genetic codes in some viruses.
- 3 well-known RNAs - messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and ribosomal RNA (rRNA)
- Present in all organisms.
- Carry out biochemical reactions similar to enzymes.
- Complex regulatory functions in cells.
- Play important roles in both normal cellular processes and diseases.
- Carries genetic codes from the DNA in the nucleus to ribosomes.
- Information in DNA cannot be decoded directly into proteins. First transcribed or copied into mRNA.
- Each molecule of mRNA encodes the information for one protein. Specifies the incorporation of a particular amino acid within the protein.
- In cytoplasm - depending on the code carried by mRNA - a specific protein is produced.
- Key role - protein synthesis.
Gene silencing approach
- Double stranded RNA (ds-RNA) molecule used: ds-RNA - a key activator of the innate immune system
- ds-RNA helps in silencing a specific mRNA (producing disease causing protein at times).
- ds-RNA binds to the disease causing mRNA by producing RNA interfering silencing complex (risc).
- Prevents the translation of the mRNA.
- Prevents protein production.
- Prevents from diseases.
- RNAi occurs in all eukaryotic organisms as cellular defense.
- Not all mRNA causes disease causing proteins.
- A promising tool for targeted and focused therapy - specified to a target (mRNA).
- Challenge : Lack of safe and effective delivery methods for RNAi molecules.
- Bio-drug containing the nano-curcumin structures derived from turmeric - used to encapsulate the RNAi and other molecules targets specific tissues.
- Curcumin :
- Hydrophobic bioactive ingredient.
- Found in a rhizome of the turmeric plant.
- Variety of biological and pharmacological action.
- Drawbacks -
- Low water solubility, poor bioavailability, and poor metabolism.
- Enhanced curcumins biological & pharmacological activity for efficient delivery - nanoencapsulation.
- A potential nanorange formulation of curcumin - Nanocurcumin
- Increases all the biological and pharmacological benefits of curcumin.
- Curcumin + RNAi = great development in cancer treatment.
- Research - Nanocurcumin with RNAi retardation of tumor with six months survival in aggressive models of colon and breast cancer