Researchers deploy new tool in study of tubulin tyrosine ligase in tumor growth

March 29, 2016

Bane has developed a way to mark tubulin with a fluorescent molecule using TTL, allowing the researchers to observe tubulin in action under a fluorescent microscope. The new labeling technique, using a small molecule, provides an easier way to watch the behavior of microtubules as cells divide. Cancer cells are often undergoing cell division at a much faster rate than normal cells, making the process a major target of cancer research.

Although Bane and Gal aren't trying to develop a new cancer treatment, their efforts to learn the role of TTL in tumor growth could someday make it easier to choose a treatment for a specific case of the disease.

"Potentially, someone could send us their tumor sample, and we could put it in our labeling system and say, 'Yes, that has a problem with the TTL system, and therefore you should be more aggressive with it,'" Gal says. "Or we could say, 'That's probably OK, so you can treat it with normal chemotherapy.'"

Bane and Gal are very hopeful that this new approach will then allow clinicians to treat cancer far more effectively as therapies would be personalized to an individual's tumor.

SOURCE Binghamton University