Dynamic 3D Computer Model of Key Protein Could Be Cancer-Fighting Tool

Southern Methodist University (SMU) biochemists Pia Vogel and John Wise have paired a moving 3D computer model of a key human protein together with SMU's high-performance supercomputer to screen millions of drug compounds in hopes of finding one that will aid in fighting recurring cancer. They made what is believed to be the first dynamic model of the human P-glycoprotein, known for its ability to expel chemotherapy from a cancer cell, allowing the cell to survive. Using the 3D model, Vogel and Wise have made progress in finding some compounds that bind to the protein. This provides hope they can find a compound that will hinder the cell's ability to pump out cancer-killing chemotherapy by disabling the energy source that powers the pump.