Monday, May 27

IIT Kanpur Biomedical Research: A Ray Of Hope In The Treatment Of Cancer and Brain Disorders

Edited by Kabani R

The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) new study provides breakthrough on the potential treatment of cancer and brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. In this significant biomedical research, researchers visualised the atomic details of the receptors and information gathered from the study advance the possibility of designing new drug-like molecules to modulate these receptors under disease conditions. The work has been recognised in the acclaimed international publication, Science.

“The path-breaking research opens the doors to a new era in targeted medicine that can deliver solutions for cancer and neurological conditions for millions across the world. These diseases, which cause immense suffering and economic burden, could see a new era of effective treatment developed based on these findings,” Prof. S Ganesh, Director, IIT Kanpur said.

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are like tiny antennas on the surface of brain cells that helps to communicate and partakes huge role many brain functions. When these brain cells failed to work properly, it poses issues in the communication with brain cells which leads to diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It also leads to the symptoms and progression seen in these diseases. Similarly, the chemokine receptor D6 functions in the immune system is involved in the response to inflammation. In cancer, the receptor can influence the tumour environment, affecting the cancer cells growth and spread.

The findings of the landmark research will assist in great deal in understanding the working of these receptors which could lead to the development of new therapeutic approaches and targeted treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Besides, the current research results will enable the development of new drug-like molecules which can be tested for their therapeutic potential in animal models.

The researchers has used a high-tech method known as cryogenic-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to create detailed three-dimensional images of the receptors. It allowed them to study the 3D images of the receptors at the molecular level in meticulously, and assisting to identify and design new drug-like molecules to correct problems with these receptors that cause disease conditions.

The success of the research project was the result of collaborative effort, which included research team from IIT Kanpur and researchers from across the world. The research work was supported by the DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance, and Science and Engineering Research Board.