What is Streptavidin? And is it the Future’s Cure for Cancer?

  Mar 28, 2024

Streptavidin which you might know as a tetrameric or a homo-tetramers protein isolated from the bacterium Streptomyces avidinii. It is majorly known for its lesser non-specific binding with a biotin molecule which has a molecular weight of 60 kDa.

Moreover, it can be considered a type of ‘secondary’ targeted toxin.

The community of science has taken full advantage of this conjugate in many ways with the usage of biotinylated targeting agents to transmit saporin into a cell targeted for elimination. 

When going through a process of dissociation constant on its order, Streptavidin is being used extensively in the field of molecular biology and the field of biotechnology. Why? Because streptavidin-saporin harnesses the ‘Molecular Surgery’ capability of saporin.

Even though, recently, studies have shown the effectiveness of Streptavidin as a breakthrough treatment for cancer. In this informative guide, we’ll speak about how it has been studied and researched as a potential cure for cancer.  

What is Streptavidin and What Are its Main Medical Qualities?

Streptavidin-Biotin Conjugation

To start with a brief description of what Streptavidin is, it is a 52 kDa protein purified from the bacterium Streptomyces avidinii. Being one of the strongest non-covalent interactions known in nature, it is extensively used in molecular biology and bionanotechnology.

This is believed to be due to its complex’s susceptibility to organic solvents, denaturants, detergents, proteolytic enzymes, and extremes of temperature and pH.

market size of Avidin

As per the reports, the market size of Avidin was valued at over USD 220 million in 2022. And, from 2023 to 2032, its market size is predicted to reach USD 350 million. However, this growth is estimated at a CAGR of 6%. 

Among its most common uses, its main medical qualities enable it to be used in several medications and medical treatments. 

The fact that it is a kind of homo-tetramers protein. It has some extraordinarily high-quality affinity for biotin making it an ideal material for many medications. 

Its strong streptavidin-biotin interaction is mostly used to attach numerous biomolecules or onto a solid support. And, to break the interaction, harsh conditions are required. It eventually denatures the protein of interest being purified.

It seems that there is still a lot to be discovered about Streptavidin and the uses it can contribute to both medicine and science. The discovery of the DNA and its construction made it clear that this compound is a vital part of it.  

What is Cancer Disease? And why is it’s Hard to Treat it?

Scientifically speaking, cancer disease is a disease where body cells do not develop the right way and become tumors that interpret the way the organs of the body work. It can occur in every part and every organ in the body, which is made up of trillions of cells.

Fast Fact:
Dating back to 1600 B.C., the earliest description of cancer was found in the Edwin Smith Papyrus.

Typically, what happens is human cells grow and multiply to form new cells. When cells get older or become damaged, they die, and new cells grow in their place. And, when this orderly course of action breaks down and abnormal or damaged cells grow and multiply, they may form tumors, which are lumps of tissue. 

So, in simple terms, it is an abnormal growth of body cells.

This is a million, if not a billion, dollar question: why is there not a cure yet?

Do You Know?:
Each year, the American Cancer Society reports numerous new cases of cancer cases and deaths in the United States. 
And, recently in 2024, they have projected 2,001,140 new cancer cases and 611,720 cancer deaths. 

A cure for cancer is like the Holy Grail because the existing treatments are not effective enough.

Part of the problem with this disease is that to treat it – you hurt in the way in the parts of the human anatomy that still have good functioning. The intensive chemical and biological treatment for it causes the immune system to be weak, and it has many side effects. 

But the thing is you can not defeat it without causing damage to the rest of the body. 

Because of this, biotechnological treatments such as the treatment for cancer using it – are considered to have more positive and less damaging results to the human organism.  

Where Does the World of Medicine Go?

The world of medicine goes step by step towards more personal adaptive treatments. This means that there is not one cure or medicine that is suitable for everyone – but rather everyone’s physiology is different and reacts differently to different kinds of medications and medical treatments. 

For this reason, using proteins like Streptavidin in all kinds of dozes and complexities makes a better cure for chronic and fatal illnesses such as cancer.