Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usNews and EventsNews articles

Designer protein kills cells (UK34, June 1 2006)

30 May 2006

A team of scientists from the University of Groningen, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany and the National University of Ireland in Galway have designed a protein that selectively binds and kills cancer cells.


The TRAIL protein induces cell ‘suicide’ (apoptosis) when it binds to the DR5 receptor which is abundant in tumour cells. However, it also binds to other receptors, which makes high dosages necessary to kill tumour cells.


Using a computer programme, the scientists designed a variant of the TRAIL protein designed to specifically bind to the DR5 receptor. Laboratory experiments confirmed that this is indeed the case, the team reported in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


A private company - with offices in Groningen and Galway – has been set up to further develop the variant protein for medical use.

Last modified:04 July 2014 9.08 p.m.

More news

  • 17 April 2019

    Why lightning often strikes twice

    In contrast to popular belief, lightning often does strike twice, but the reason why a lightning channel is ‘reused’ has remained a mystery. Now, an international research team led by the University of Groningen has used the LOFAR radio telescope to...

  • 16 April 2019

    Still going strong after four decades

    On March 29th professor of Applied Physics Jeff de Hosson was offered a farewell symposium, a few months after his official retirement date near the close of 2018. ‘But 29 March was the 100th birthday of Jan Francken, my predecessor.’ Besides, De Hosson...

  • 15 April 2019

    Fysische-geografisch veldwerk in Denekamp: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

    Jan Delvigne was al vroeg naar bed zoals altijd. Maar daar komt ie. Zachtjes gaat de deur naar de grote slaapzaal open. Een bril en baard komen de hoek om en bestuderen de stille slaapzaal. Ook daar zie ik voorpret: opgewonden fonkelen de ogen van Jan...