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Massey Cancer Center researcher helps to identify a piece of the cancer puzzle

A structural biologist from the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, in collaboration with researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, has identified the crystal structure of a protein that plays a role in supplying nutrients to solid tumors.

This identification may help researchers gain a greater understanding of the cell signaling that occurs when cancer cells try to co-opt nearby healthy cells into helping to feed and spread growing tumors.

The structure of the protein, Ang2, will be published this week in "Structure" a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

"By examining structures of proteins and learning how they interact with each other, we can better explore how to turn off the signals that promote cancer growth," said William A. Barton, Ph.D., a VCU alumnus who recently returned to Richmond to continue his research.

"Once we understand the shape and characteristics of proteins involved in tumor growth and development, researchers can identify therapeutics that may eventually lead to cures for cancer."


Source:Virginia Commonwealth University

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