A research has stated that a small molecule can reset the ‘biological clock’ of cancer cells and shrink tumor growth which could lead to a potential new therapy to treat cancer. The molecule is called 6-thio-2′-deoxyguanosine (6-thiodG).
The molecule acts by targeting a unique mechanism that is thought to regulate how long cells can stay alive. DNA structure known as telomeres define the biological clock. They cap the ends of the cell’s chromosomes to protect them from damage and become shorter every time the cell divides.
Once telomeres have shortened to a critical length, the cell can no longer divide and dies though a process known as apoptosis. Telomerase is expressed in almost all human cancers. This work represents a potentially innovative approach to targeting telomerase-expressing cancer cells with minimal side effects on normal cells.