IIT Kanpur's Offers Promising Insights into Cancer and Brain Disorders
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Written by Arushi Sharma
06 Jan, 2024
2 min read
IIT Kanpur's pioneering biomedical research into G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and chemokine receptor D6 has unveiled new vistas for treating prevalent diseases.
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IIT Kanpur's groundbreaking research on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and chemokine receptor D6 offers promising pathways for potential treatments in cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and schizophrenia.

In a significant breakthrough, the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) has achieved a milestone in biomedical research. Their study on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and the chemokine receptor D6 has illuminated new pathways for potential treatments in ailments such as cancer and neurological disorders like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and schizophrenia.

The researchers have successfully visualized the atomic details of these receptors, providing a crucial foundation for developing novel drug-like molecules to modulate them under diseased conditions.

This pioneering work has garnered international recognition with its publication in the esteemed journal, Science. Prof. S Ganesh, Director of IIT Kanpur, highlighted the transformative potential of this research, envisioning a new frontier in targeted medicine that could alleviate the suffering and economic burden associated with these prevalent diseases. Prof. Arun Shukla and his team received accolades for their exceptional contributions in GPCR Biology.

GPCRs act as receptors on brain cell surfaces, crucial for communication and various brain functions. Dysfunction in these receptors can disrupt intercellular communication, leading to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Similarly, the chemokine receptor D6 influences immune responses and inflammation, impacting tumor environments in cancer.

The outcomes of this IIT Kanpur research hold promise for a deeper comprehension of these receptors' mechanisms, paving the way for innovative therapeutic strategies and targeted treatments.

With Alzheimer's affecting over 50 million individuals globally and cancer responsible for more than 10 million annual deaths, these findings offer hope for improved interventions. The next step involves developing and testing drug-like molecules in animal models.

Employing advanced cryogenic-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), the researchers produced intricate three-dimensional images of the receptors, enabling an in-depth study at the molecular level. This detailed understanding aims to identify and design corrective molecules for receptor-related ailments.

The collaborative effort involved a global team working hand in hand with IIT Kanpur. Scientists from Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the Republic of Korea collaborated to drive the success of this research. Funding from the DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance and the Science and Engineering Research Board supported this groundbreaking research at IIT Kanpur.

Prof. Arun K. Shukla, along with a dedicated team of researchers, spearheaded this transformative study in GPCR Biology, marking a significant leap forward in the pursuit of novel treatments for prevalent and debilitating diseases affecting millions worldwide.

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