Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Buckyballs Used As 'Passkeys' Into Cancer Cells

Abstract:
Rice University chemists and Baylor College of Medicine pediatric scientists have discovered how to use buckyballs as passkeys that allows drugs to enter cancer cells. Research in the Jan. 21 issue of the journal Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, describes how the researchers mimicked the techniques used by some viruses to introduce non-toxic bits of buckyball-containing protein into both neuroblastoma and liver cancer cells.

Buckyballs Used As 'Passkeys' Into Cancer Cells

Houston, TX | Posted on January 18th, 2007

Scientists at Rice University and pediatric specialists at Baylor College of Medicine have discovered a new way to use Rice's famed buckyball nanoparticles as passkeys that allows drugs to enter cancer cells.

The research appears in the Jan. 21 issue of the journal Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry.

All living cells defend themselves by walling off the outside world. Cell walls, or membranes, form a protective cocoon around the cell's inner machinery and its DNA blueprints.

"Drugs are far more effective if they're delivered through the membrane, directly into the cell," said lead researcher Andrew Barron. "Viruses, which are often toxic, long ago developed ways of sneaking through cell walls. While we're mimicking some techniques used by viruses, we're using non-toxic pieces of protein, and we're incorporating buckyballs as a passkey."

The passkeys that Barron and colleagues developed contain a molecule called Bucky amino acid that was created in Barron's lab. Bucky amino acid, or Baa, is based on pheylalanine, one of the 20 essential amino acids that are strung together like beads on a necklace to build all proteins.

Barron's graduate student, Jianzhong Yang, developed several different Baa-containing peptides, or slivers of protein containing about a dozen or so amino acids. In their natural form, with pheylalanine as a link in their chain, these peptides did not pass through the cell walls.

Barron's group collaborated with Yang's brother, Baylor College of Medicine assistant professor Jianhua Yang at Texas Children's Cancer Center, and found the Baa-containing peptides could mimick viral proteins and pass through the walls of cancer cells. The peptides were found effective at
penetrating the defenses of both liver cancer cells and neuroblastoma cells.

"Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor in children, and it is responsible for about 15 percent of pediatric cancer deaths," said Jianhua Yang. "Our findings are significant because neuroblastoma cells are well-known for their difficulty in transfection through the cell membrane."

Barron is Rice's Charles W. Duncan Jr.-Welch Professor of Chemistry, professor of materials science and associate dean for industry interactions and technology transfer.

Co-authors include Rice undergraduate student Jonathan Driver and Baylor College of Medicine postdoctoral fellow Kuan Wang.

The research is supported by the Welch Foundation, the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation and the Hope Street Kids Foundation.

####

About Rice University
About Rice University Rice University is consistently ranked one of America’s best teaching and research universities. It is distinguished by its: size—2,850 undergraduates and 1,950 graduate students; selectivity—10 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources—an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1, and the fifth largest endowment per student among American universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work. Rice’s wooded campus is located in the nation’s fourth largest city and on America’s South Coast.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Jade Boyd
713-348-6778

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Nanomedicine

Nominations Invited for $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience: Major international prize recognizes a visionary nanotechnology researcher February 20th, 2017

Good vibrations help reveal molecular details: Rice University scientists combine disciplines to pinpoint small structures in unlabeled molecules February 15th, 2017

In-cell molecular sieve from protein crystal February 14th, 2017

Cedars-Sinai, UCLA Scientists Use New ‘Blood Biopsies’ With Experimental Device to Speed Cancer Diagnosis and Predict Disease Spread: Leading-Edge Research Is Part of National Cancer Moonshot Initiative February 13th, 2017

Discoveries

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteries February 21st, 2017

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Brad Ramshaw of Cornell University, as winner of the 2017 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize February 20th, 2017

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

Announcements

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of 45nm RF SOI to Advance 5G Mobile Communications: Optimized RF features deliver high-performance solutions for mmWave beam forming applications in 5G smartphones and base stations February 22nd, 2017

EmTech Asia breaks new barriers with potential applications of space exploration with NASA and MIT February 22nd, 2017

JPK selects compact tensile stage from Deben for their NanoWizard® AFM platform to broaden capabilities for materials characterisation February 22nd, 2017

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

Human Interest/Art

Weizmann Institute of Science Presents: Weizmann Wonder Wander - 4G - is Online June 21st, 2016

Call for NanoArt and Art-Science-Technology Papers June 9th, 2016

Scientists propose non-animal tools for assessing the toxicity of nanomaterials: Particle and Fibre Toxicology publishes recommendations from expert group meeting April 26th, 2016

Are humans the new supercomputer?Today, people of all backgrounds can contribute to solving serious scientific problems by playing computer games. A Danish research group has extended the limits of quantum physics calculations and simultaneously blurred the boundaries between mac April 14th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project