Central University of South Bihar professers make breakthrough research for breast cancer and herbal drugs
Md Mudassir Alam
A significant development in the area of cancer has come from one of the premier research laboratories of the department of bioinformatics in the country.
In collaboration with a group in Italy, Dr Vijay Kumar's work has demonstrated, for the first time, that a gene product named "Morgana" is crucial for cancer, at least in breast cancer metastasis (a phenomenon that refers to the spread of cancer cells from their primary location).
The group has shown that Morgana protein is over-expressed in about 36 per cent of triple negative breast cancer (a subtype of breast cancer) and displays oncogenic feature conferring resistance to apoptosis which is an important feature of metastatic cells.
Morgana is an essential component of IKK complex which potentially sustains the NfkB signalling pathway leading to pro-metastatic gene expression and cancer cell invasion. The finding has been published in a high impact and prestigious journal, Nature Communication, recently.
In another development in the area of molecular drug design, Professor Rathore has developed a novel method to elucidate underlying mechanism of action of Ayurvedic and herbal drugs. Mankind has consumed traditional Ayurvedic, Unani and various herbal drugs from the time immemorial. The scientific rationale of these drugs has eluded us until yet.
The research published in a Wiley Journal of Chemical Biology and Drug Design describes the method that not only identifies the active molecules, but also the underlying mechanism of their action. This opens up a whole range of innumerable possibilities to use traditional natural herbs as starting point to design novel drugs with less or no side effects.
Dr Rathore said that this technology has potential to cut down cost and time involved in making a new drug. Pharmaceutical companies on an average spend billion dollars and about 10 to 15 years to design a single new drug and launch in the market.The bioinformatics department of Central University of South Bihar has been known for its excellence in research and teaching in the country. The department with a special emphasis on functional genomics and drug discovery research offers PG programme in bioinformatics, PhD and postdoctoral research.