Gendicine - A drug of the future

Short one today, folks. I need to sleep. Don't think that I've failed anything so far.

  • recombinant adenovirus-p53 gene (gene therapy!) used to treat head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
    • essentially an adenovirus that has been engineered to carry a human p53 gene such that it will infect tumour cells and insert the gene into their genome, causing them to produce p53 and thus activate death mechanisms that make 'em kill themselves
  • currently approved for use in China, with similar drugs in development in other countries including the US of A
  • pretty frickin' cool
Patil SD, Rhodes DG, Burgess DJ. DNA-based therapeutics and DNA delivery systems: a comprehensive review. AAPS J. 2005 Apr 8;7(1):E61-77.

2 chemically inspired comments:

Toaster Sunshine said...

No snarked-out explanation of what p53 does?

Transcription factor normally inhibited by Mdm2 when the cells are happy and all of their DNA is intact. When cells aren't happy, say, hepatocytes when you've slammed them with ethanol, p53 is phosphorylated such that Mdm2 no longer wants anything to do with it (like not bathing for several days before visiting relatives). Then p53 increases the expression of p21, when clamps down on progression of the cell cycle such that cells stop and chill out so that they can repair their DNA.
When p53 is mutated, cells can replicate without having to repair their DNA first, like letting a child have cookies and forgetting about dinner; this may increase susceptibility to cancer.

I'm not attempting to undermine. I had a Cell Bio final this morning, and given that I've been having nightmares about the cell cycle control system, I wasn't going to let p53 go unspoken for.

I'll try to post a prose explanation of p53 later.

David said...

I'm gonna guess that this is a mere coincidence...