Re: Protein antifreeze

From: Doug Jones (
Date: Mon Jan 17 2000 - 09:14:43 MST

Jeff Davis wrote:
> Damned sharp of you to pick up on that (almost a) problem, and then find
> the solution--which is very nearly the way they have designed it to work.
> Actually, the bacteria doesn't make the final cytotoxic drug, and is
> therefor not destructive of the in vitro host cells, or for that matter the
> in vivo cancer cells. The bacteria makes an enzyme which, within the
> confines of the host cancer cell, converts a non-toxic precurser into the
> lethal cytotoxic drug. The non-toxic precursor is administered separately,
> by conventional injection, when the time is right.

No, coming up with that indirect technique is what's sharp- because the
researchers have to

A) select the nontoxic precursor
B) its toxic product
C) the enzyme to do that
D) the DNA to make the enzyme
E) insert the DNA and make sure it is expressed

Now, it may be that they turned it around, by looking for an existing
enzyme that could do toxic conversion- then they just have to *find* the
blasted thing and identify a nontoxic chemical to feed to it. The concept
appears to have been inspired by "why do we have to wait for cell repair
machines- maybe we can do it with biology". It's very nearly the same
mechanism, just with squishy nano...
> They don't call you a rocket scientist for nothing!

Nah, I'm an engineer- different methods, different goals.

Doug Jones
Rocket Plumber, XCOR Aerospace

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