Designer Proteins Trigger Cell Death – a new cancer therapy?

Researchers from University of Washington and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute use an innovative computational design approach coupled with in-vitro-targeted evolution to produce a potent polypeptide inhibitor that triggers apoptosis of virus-infected cancer cells, suppresses tumor growth and extends survival in a xenograft model of EBV-positive human lymphoma. This represents an effort to generate biologically active proteins by de novo computational design. These  high specificity designed proteins that selectively kill target cells may provide an advantage over the current generation antibody-drug conjugates.

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The work is published in the journal of Cell 157, 1644-1656. (2014) “A Computationally Designed Inhibitor of an Epstein-Barr Viral Bcl-2 Protein Induces Apoptosis in Infected Cells”, Creative PEGWorks is proud of this work from The Baker Laboratory and the construction of the protein is assisted by one of our PEGylation reagents, a thiol reactive maleimide PEG derivative.