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SFU duo's protein discovery links to cancer research
Date:7/26/2012

do anything to regulate cell growth.

"Hipk is the first discovery of a protein kinase that regulates Yorkie by stimulating its cell proliferation ability. All other known protein kinases either directly inhibit or block Yorkie from working."

Chen and Verheyen say their discovery is generating a lot of excitement in the molecular biology science community. "We have identified a factor that in flies is required for even overly active Yorkie to trigger overgrowth," explains Chen, who graduated in June. She begins working as a research assistant at the Vancouver Prostate Centre in August.

"By analogy, perhaps the human form of Hipk is needed in cells for overly active Yap (human form of Yorkie) to induce tumours. So if we can inhibit or reduce Hipk activity, it would allow us to prevent overgrowths and possibly cancer caused by excessive Yap in humans."

The two are now checking to see if this new cell growth regulation mechanism they've discovered is conserved across different species, including mice, which have similar Hipk proteins to humans.


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Contact: Carol Thorbes
cthorbes@sfu.ca
778-782-3035
Simon Fraser University
Source:Eurekalert

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