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Major Anticancer Breakthrough by BGU Scientists

Major Anticancer Breakthrough by BGU Scientists

January 3, 2022

Research News

The Jerusalem Post — Scientists from BGU have made a potentially revolutionary discovery regarding the biological function of an anti-cancer peptide as a protein kinase inhibitor.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. Long molecules made of peptide units are what we known as proteins, and protein kinases are enzymes that can change a protein’s function. The researchers’ discovery, which focused on a naturally occurring peptide from the non-coding region of mRNA, could greatly contribute to how we treat cancer in the future.

“Clearly demonstrating the role of this peptide is just the tip of the iceberg,” explains Prof. Etta Livneh, professor and member of the Faculty of Health Sciences at BGU. “Now that we know that at least some peptides have a biological function, we can begin to discover the roles of many more.”

MRNA, or messenger ribonucleic acid, plays many key roles in human biology, including coding for proteins that each have different functions. Around 40% of mRNA in a particular region contains sequences that code for short peptides, though until recently scientists believed the region was what’s referred to as “non-coding,” and did not know if the short peptides had a function.

Read more in The Jerusalem Post >>