Some molecules made by the body can cause cells to malfunction and become cancerous if made in excess. One example is MUC1, found in the membrane of epithelial cells, which line body passages and coat vessels. Its normal job is to transmit many different signals regulating the cell’s activity. This protein model represents one part of it, called MUC1-C (shown in yellow, green and red), in the cell membrane (pink and grey). Two MUC1-C molecules must attach together to work properly. They bind each other via a part of their sequence closest to the cell membrane called the CQC motif. Scientists developed a molecule called GO-203 to block the CQC motif, and found that GO-203 does indeed stop MUC1-Cs joining together in cancerous cells. The next step is to see if it has therapeutic effects.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.