The origin-of-life molecule, a key to cancer research

Oct. 31, 2022
In the production of one of the origin-of-life molecules, researchers in Spain and Denmark have found a method for attacking cancer cells.

RNA, the molecule that gave rise to life, has been shown to be essential for repairing human genetic material and preventing mutations that might lead to developing cancer. Recent advances in research, such as those published by the research team of Daniel Gómez Cabello at the University of Seville, propose this compound as a therapeutic target for developing tailored strategies for treating cancer. 

The RNA polymerase enzyme, the RNA production machine in cells, is essential for repairing breakages in human DNA safely and reliably. RNA production is essential for healthy cells but especially for tumor cells, which require much more activity by this enzyme to grow uncontrolled. 

The study revealed that RNA synthesis inhibition with the THZ1 compound and analogues after therapies that cause DNA breakages, such as radiation therapy, greatly increases tumor cells’ sensitivity to death.  

This research by the Biomedical Institute of Seville and the University of Seville, in collaboration with the Danish Cancer Society, has been published in Nature Communications.  

University of Seville release on Newswise