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Mayo discovers protein as potential tactic to prevent tumors

o another cellular protein, FOXO1, switching it on as the initial link in a signal that tells the cell to set itself up for apoptosis. CDK2 adds phosphorylation to a specific serine residue on the chain of amino acids that make up FOXO1. In case of robust errors found in the genetic code, CDK2 signals FOXO1 to explicitly call for the cell to produce a set of proteins leading to apoptosis.

"If the cell has minor alterations in the DNA code that can be repaired, those repairs are made," says first author Haojie Huang, Ph.D. "If the genetic message cannot be repaired, our studies show that CDK2 can initiate the steps necessary for cells to order the production of genes involved with cell death, and the errant cell dies without propagating its damaging genetic message to progeny cells of its own."

"As patients and their physicians seek to control or cure tumors, research is providing new approaches to limiting cancer from growing and spreading," Dr. Tindall said. "With this new understanding of the biology driven by critical dual functions of CDK2, the cancer community can focus on ways to regulate a mechanism that the cell contains to prevent damaged genetic messages from being inherited and spread in proliferating tumor cells."


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Source:Mayo Clinic


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