"Open Science": scientists of Altai State University are developing an anti-cancer immunopreparation

22 January 2021 Department of Information and Media Communications
The scientific news portal "Open Science" reported that the Swiss scientific journal of chemistry Molecules has published an article by scientists from the Russian-American Anti-Cancer Center of Altai State University on research in the field of cancer immunotherapy.

“For a year now, we have been working on a project to create a drug for the immunotherapy of cancer. As part of the first stage of our research, a peptide was found that interacts with a certain CTLA-4 molecule, which will be further tested in experiments in vitro and in vivo to identify whether it has immunomodulatory properties,'' explains Director of the Russian-American Anti-Cancer Center of Altai State University , Doctor of Biology  Andrey Shapoval. “We hope that the peptide, that we have found, will stimulate the immune response and, accordingly, can be used for the treatment of oncological diseases.”

The peptide that blocks the interaction of the CTLA-4 and B7-1 molecules was found by the AltSU Center scientists in the process of using microchips obtained from the Center for Innovation in Medicine of the Institute of Biodesign at the University of Arizona. Andrey Shapoval explains that this is a synthetic peptide containing 14 amino acids that specifically interact with the CTLA-4 protein. Experimental data confirm peptide-specific interaction with CTLA-4 and its ability to partially block the binding of CTLA-4 and B7-1. The identified synthetic peptide can be used to develop new inhibitors of immune checkpoints that can block the functional activity of CTLA-4 for cancer immunotherapy.

“Identifying immune checkpoints of the B7 family has opened up new possibilities for the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies (MAB). In particular, blockade of inhibitory receptors (CTLA-4 and PD-1) by specific MAB leads to the activation of T-lymphocytes of cancer patients and tumor rejection. However, clinical use of MAB has a number of limitations, including side effects and cost of treatment. The development of new low-molecular-weight compounds that block the functional activity of immune checkpoints can help overcome some of them," the scientists explain in their article.

The authors of the article titled "Peptide blocking the interaction of CTLA-4 and B7-1 molecules" in addition to scientists from Altai State University included representatives of the Kizhner Research Center of the National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University and the Center for Innovation in Medicine of the Institute of Biodesign at the University of Arizona. Scientists are planning to test peptides in the course of in vitro experiments to identify their functional activity.

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