Key to Improving Cancer Treatments Discovered

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The structure of USP28 in complex with the inhibitor AZ1. All amino acids that a
The structure of USP28 in complex with the inhibitor AZ1. All amino acids that are similar (yellow) or identical (green) to USP25 are highlighted. In particular, the region where the inhibitor binds (marked with a red arrow) is identical in both proteins. (Image: Kisker/JMU, abgeändert nach Patzke, et al, EMBO reports 2024)

Some cancer drugs cause severe side effects because they are not working accurately enough. A team at the University of Würzburg led by biochemist Caroline Kisker has now discovered why.

The small protein ubiquitin is involved in almost every cellular process in our body: it orchestrates the stability and function of the vast majority of proteins. When it binds to other proteins, they are often released for degradation. However, this labelling can also be reversed by special enzymes. ...

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