Under certain artificial conditions, the mammalian milk protein ?-lactalbumin forms a complex with oleic acid. In the case of human protein, this complex is called – HAMLET (Human Alfa-Albumin Made Lethal to Tumor). This and related complexes have anti-cancer activity when cancer cells die and healthy ones live. HAMLET is believed to affect cellular intracellular cell cycle signals. In cases of colon cancer, mutations in the KRAS / BRAF gene are most common, which distort the cell cycle. Preliminary in vitro data suggest that HAMLET-like complexes may be used in the treatment of human colon cancer, and efficacy may be dependent on tumor cell tissue mutations. However, in Lithuania, as in other countries, the use of human milk protein in research, as well as treatment, is complicated due to legal regulation, availability, and price. Therefore, at least as effective alternatives are being sought. Other mammalian ?-lactalbumin has also been shown to be able to produce anti-cancer complexes (EAMLET when using horse milk protein), but the data provided in the scientific literature are contradictory. Not only different effective doses are detected, but also controversial fact about anti-cancer activity of such complexes. From a structural point of view, the protein complexes of different mammals are quite related, and this variation is likely due to different protein isolation, purification or complexing and storage procedures that are still not optimized. The project will allow the optimization of bioactive EAMLET complexes whose antitumor efficacy will be tested in in vitro models of human colon cancer with different mutations.
KTU R&D&I Fund
Period of project implementation: 2019-04-01 - 2019-12-31
Project partners: Lithuanian University of Health Sciences