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DNA-damaged cells communicate with neighbors to let them know they're in trouble
Date:7/13/2009

me to repair its DNA before alerting the immune system that there's a problem," said Rodier. He added that scientists were also surprised to discover that the damage-induced communication signaling pathway bypasses a powerful tumor suppressor gene known as p53. That finding gives scientists a target to shut down the inflammatory process without hampering the activity of p53, which is essential to prevent cancer. It also explains why cancerous tumors are still able to secrete inflammatory signals when p53 has mutated and lost its tumor suppressing capabilities.

"Inflammation is a hallmark symptom of cancer," said Rodier. "Inflammation also promotes cancer, so this helps us begin to understand what's involved in that process."

The findings also help explain the aging process Campisi said. The immune system, which destroys damaged cells (such as skin cells whose DNA has been exposed to UV radiation), is not perfect, she said. "Damaged cells that survive the activity of the immune system are sending out continuous danger signals to surrounding cells. That constant alarm drives inflammation, which helps drive aging." Campisi added, "Now we have a target to focus on that could stop those damaged cells from sending out the inflammatory signals."


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Contact: Kris Rebillot
krebillot@buckinstitute.org
415-209-2080
Buck Institute for Age Research
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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