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UNC research uncovers new insight into cell development and cancer
Date:12/27/2012

L's interact with an epigenetic signal associated with genes that are turned on to recruit a group of proteins called the PRC2 complex which then turn genes off.

"In stem cells, the PRC2 complex turns genes off that would otherwise promote reprogramming into specialized cells of organs like the heart or lungs," said Wang.

In addition to its fundamental role in cellular development, elevated levels of PRC2 have been found in cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, and blood, and pharmaceutical companies are already developing drugs to target PRC2. Wang and colleagues determined that the same mechanisms controlling PRC2 function in stem cells also applies in human cancers.

"The identification of a specific PCL in controlling PRC2 in cancer cells suggests we may be able to develop drugs targeting this PCL to regulate PRC2 function in a more controlled manner that may maintain PRC2 function in stem cells while inhibiting it in the tumor," said Wang.


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Contact: William Davis
william_davis@med.unc.edu
919-966-5906 x254
University of North Carolina Health Care
Source:Eurekalert  

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