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Scientists bring cancer cells back under control
Date:1/18/2011

e eggs of the axolotl salamander. Over the years Dr Johnson's lab has shown that humans evolved from animals that closely resemble axolotls, and because of this the proteins in axolotls are very similar to those in humans. Axolotl oocytes which are the eggs prior to ovulation are packed with molecules that have very powerful epigenetic modifying activity. Previously Johnson's lab showed that extracts prepared from these oocytes have powerful capacity to change epigenetic marks on the DNA of human cells.

And, in a breakthrough, they showed it is important to use oocytes from the ovary, because if the oocytes are ovulated these activities are lost. We thought that by treating cancer cells with extracts made from axolotl oocytes we could reverse the epigenetic marks on tumour suppressor genes, causing these genes to reactivate, and thereby stopping the cancerous cell growth."

The identification of the proteins responsible for this tumour reversing activity in axolotl oocytes is a major goal of future research which could form a powerful new technology platform for the treatment of cancers from the breast, and other tissues.


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Contact: Lindsay Brooke
44-115-951-5751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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