Friday , December 4 2020

"Gene with two faces". It treats cancer, but can also promote tumor growth



The results will help with the formation of new anti-cancer drugs.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, examined genes used for cancer treatment. I can change the basic functions of tumor cells so that they cannot acquire energy like normal cells, limiting tumor growth.

According to a new study, this will also trigger another process that results in the tumor cells regaining energy and multiplying. This conclusion is only relevant for liver cancer.

The new discovery was written in the Cancer Cell magazine.

Two-ax ax

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have collected and analyzed samples of mouse cells and people who have had liver cancer for four years. They examined the p53 and WTp53 genes which encode a protein capable of arresting tumor growth.

Researchers have found that in the case of liver cancer, the above genes suppressed tumor growth while promoting growth.

The key is the protein known under the abbreviation PUMA (p53 unregulated modulator of apoptosis) which affects mitochondrial function. Mitochondria is a cellular organelle. It is primarily used to gain energy in the cellular respiratory process.

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PUMA protects the normal function of the mitochondria. Energy ceases to produce by normal oxidative phosphorylation. According to researchers, however, they will go to less effective glycolysis, which stimulates the spread of cancer.

"It is generally known that p53 suppresses cancer. In our study, we protest against this claim," says lead author Yang Xu.

Researchers suggest that by reducing oxidative phosphorylation, p53 can actually prevent tumor growth. But when the tumor is stabilized, the same gene will begin to promote its growth. "It's actually the same function, but it plays exactly the opposite role in two different contexts," Xu said.

Threat to the development of new substances

The researcher also adds that the new finding warns of the discovery of cancer drugs.

The study will also be of great help in the development of new treatments to prevent and spread cancer. It also helps to explain several biological paradoxes associated with the p53 gene.


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