American scientists from the University of California at Riverside have created antibodies that help stop the growth of tumors in humans. An example for this matter were the antibodies of camels and llamas. The study is published in the journal PNAS.
Matrix metalloproteinases - an enzyme that breaks down the different types of protein. Such enzymes necessary for normal cell activity, and in particular for tissue regeneration. However, when a tumor is formed in the body, some of these enzymes are "abnormal" and promote tumor growth and metastasis formation.
Scientists have synthesized antibodies that bind only to the "wrong" metalloproteinases and remove them from the body, and the "right" to ignore enzymes. Antibodies - it's protein structures capable of binding (via specific binding sites) with antigens - substances foreign to the body. Each antibody is specific to its antigen.
On creation of such antibodies inspired scientists antibodies that the body produces llamas and camels. Antibodies these animals have a special structure of the binding sites, which allows them to interact only with the "wrong" enzymes that promote tumor growth. Human antibodies do not have such structure.
However administered into the human body can not be camel antibodies, as they may cause an immune reaction. Therefore, scientists have synthesized antibodies with a similar structure, which they managed to do so, so that the human body does not perceive them as foreign substances.
Scientists believe that new antibodies may not only help in the fight against cancer, they can also be useful in treating other diseases that occur due to faulty metalloproteinases. Such diseases include Alzheimer's disease, asthma, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.