Navigation Links
Divide and conquer: Genes decide who wins in the body's battle against cancer

Researchers funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) have discovered for the first time that two proteins called Mahjong and Lgl could be star players in helping to identify how the body's own cells fight back against cancer cells. This discovery, publishing today in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology, could lead to future treatments to make our healthy cells better-equipped to attack cancer cells, an entirely new concept for cancer research.

The team, who undertook the research at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology and Cell Biology Unit at University College London (UCL), have proven that normal cells and cancerous cells compete in a game of 'do or die'. If non-cancerous cells gain the advantage and entirely surround cancer cells, the cancer cells will die. If, however, the cancerous cells manage to break free, they will continue to divide and grow undisturbed. The study shows that the Lgl and Mahjong proteins play a key role in the cells' competitiveness, influencing the outcome over which cells will die. This kind of cell competition had previously been shown to occur in flies, however this is the first time it has been seen in mammals.

This discovery could potentially lead to new kinds of treatments for carcinomas, tumours which make up more than 80 per cent of all cancers. Carcinomas originate from the epithelial cells that make up tissues such as our lungs, glands and digestive system.

Dr Yasuyuki Fujita, group leader at MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology and Cell Biology Unit at UCL is thrilled by the results: "This is the first time that we have seen cancer cells being killed simply by being surrounded by healthy cells. If we can build on this knowledge and improve our understanding of how this happens, in the future we may be able to find a way to enhance this ability and develop a totally new way of preventing and treating cancer."

Basic science is critical to understanding the human body's natural resilience to diseases such as cancer and to guiding the development of future treatments. The MRC has a dedicated record of investment in science that links laboratory-based knowledge to clinical investigation.


Contact: Cathy Beveridge
Public Library of Science

Related biology news :

1. Apples grow larger when cells dont divide, study shows
2. M.D.C. Holdings Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend
3. Rice scientists divide and conquer
4. How an enzyme tells stem cells which way to divide
5. New explanation for a puzzling biological divide along the Malay Peninsula
6. What plant genes tell us about crop domestication
7. Maternal diet and genes interact to affect heart development
8. Wallabies and bats harbor fossil genes from the most deadly family of human viruses
9. Virgin olive oil and a Mediterranean diet fight heart disease by changing how our genes function
10. Jumping genes find new homes in humans more often than previously thought
11. From bark to bedside: Study looks at canine cancer genes, human health impact
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   Growing ... reliable analytical tools has been paving the way ... qualitative determination of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, ... are being predominantly used in medical applications, however, ... environmental sectors due to continuous emphasis on improving ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015 ... biometrics that helps to identify and verify the ... is considered as the secure and accurate method ... of a particular individual because each individual,s signature ... results especially when dynamic signature of an individual ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... York , November 4, 2015 ... a new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Home ... Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home ... US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is estimated ... forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership between the Academy ... been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. , AMA Executive ... Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at AMA Headquarters ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United ... recipient of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA ... his or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... of the year and one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: ... from 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led ... also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. ... members have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have ...
Breaking Biology Technology: