Argonaute ProteinsProteins are called the building blocks of the body and sure help in keeping us fit. But in order to remain healthy, the human cells ought to produce accurate proteins at the right time and in the appropriate quantities. A research initiated by the McGill University uncovered a small segment of a protein probably connected with RNA, which controls the normal expression of genes including the ones that are active in cancer.

An estimation of the way cells gain control by ‘RNA interference’ was made. A kind of gene silencing where small pieces of RNA, called micro RNAs block the production of certain proteins by interacting with their genetic code. But only certain pieces of RNA can do this.

Dr. David Thomas, Chair of McGill’s Department of Biochemistry shared, “This is fantastic news. You’ve seen stories lately about how we may see the end of chemotherapy? Well, this is part of that path in developing genetically based therapies that can be tailored to individual patients’ particular illnesses. It’s a great step forward.”

A structural biology was employed by the scientists to affirm the way a minute segment in the Argonaute proteins can select the correct micro RNAs. These protein segments are considered to be the key molecules of RNA interference. The research may be effective to determine the various types of cancer therapies practiced by physicians all over the world.

The research was published online on May 26, 2010 in the journal Nature.