All DNA is formed of three basic components: a phosphate and a sugar, which combine to form the sides of the double helix "ladder," and a base that forms the ladder's "rungs." All variances in DNA, including cancerous mutations, are the result of unique sequencing of the four types of bases, denoted A, G, C and T.
Taylor's approach, described as "nucleic acid-triggered catalytic drug release," is essentially a sophisticated drug releasing system, one that is able to recognize and use cancerous sequences as triggering mechanisms for the very drugs that fight them.
"The beauty of this system is that it could use already-approved FDA drugs," Taylor explained. "So all I have to worry about is getting FDA approval on the general releasing mechanism, and then I can incorporate whatever anticancer drugs are currently on the market."
Taylor discussed his work at the 40th annual New Horizons in Science Briefing, a function of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. He spoke Oct. 27, 2002 at Washington University in St. Louis, which hosted the event.
Guiding drugs to their 'parking spot'
In nucleic acids, Nature has already determined the rules of base pairing -- A binds with T and G pairs with C -- a system called "Watson-Crick base-pairing," named for the discoverers of the double helix. Recent advances in biotechnology have given doctors the ability to profile a patient's genetic information, taken during a biopsy, using something called a DNA chip, which can identify
Contact: Gerry Everding
Washington University in St. Louis