Some molecules made by the body can cause cells to malfunction and become cancerous if made in excess. One example is MUC1, found in the membrane of epithelial cells, which line body passages and coat vessels. Its normal job is to transmit many different signals regulating the cell’s activity. This protein model represents one part of it, called MUC1-C (shown in yellow, green and red), in the cell membrane (pink and grey). Two MUC1-C molecules must attach together to work properly. They bind each other via a part of their sequence closest to the cell membrane called the CQC motif. Scientists developed a molecule called GO-203 to block the CQC motif, and found that GO-203 does indeed stop MUC1-Cs joining together in cancerous cells. The next step is to see if it has therapeutic effects.
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