Research Finds Gene Deletion In Cell Clusters Can Decrease Resistance To Drugs

By Stephen M

Scientists have discovered a foundation that could aid a new method of fighting drug resistance when treating cancer or microbial infections. According to the new study, this can be achieved by manipulating and deleting a particular gene (AMN1) from yeast.

Image Courtesy of Dr. Gábor Balázsi

Drug resistance is one of the major health challenges worldwide. As such, knowing how cancer cells and microbial resistance drugs work can lead to the development of efficacious medicines. The Gábor Balázsi-led study, therefore, focuses on breaking cell clusters that can become an extra barrier to drug resistance.

Co-authors Lesia Guinn and Evan Lo have conducted investigations and helped Dr. Balázsi design quantitative models to describe the effects of the drugs and the results of removing the AMN1 gene.

The Research Process

Although scientists have advanced research in individual molecular resistance mechanisms, that of multicellular drug resistance mechanisms has become challenging. Among these multicellular resistant mechanisms are cells forming clusters that reduce the uptake of drugs.

The study, divulged in a science publication, saw the researchers use a type of yeast as a specimen that proved resistant to antifungal drugs and cell clustering. They later removed the AMN1 gene, which is responsible for cell clustering in the yeast. This resulted in the cell staying alone without forming multicellular clumps.

Dr. Gábor Balázsi explained that the resulting yeast was less resistant to some of the most common antifungal chemicals. According to the researcher, these results indicate that separating multicellular clusters may lead to more efficacious treatments.

His findings show that AMN1 may soon be the gene target for antifungal therapies in treating cluster-forming infectious fungi.