The regulator of cancer cell activity found
Research teams from the University of Turku and VTT have found the sharpin
protein regulating the activity of cancer cells. The Finnish researchers also
found a new mechanism inhibiting the spread and growth of cancer from breast
cancer cells. Both results may have major significance for the development of
The hypothesis that there must be a protein that inhibits cell activity was posited as far back as in the early 1990s. Finnish researchers have now found that that protein is sharpin. The research published in the Nature Cell Biology magazine shows that the sharpin protein regulates the movement and activity of inflammatory cells and of lung and prostate cancer cells. It is likely that, in addition to cancer, the new discovery will also have significant implications for other conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, rheumatism and even MS.
Sharpin was found with the cell chip screening method developed by VTT. The method allows examination in a single test arrangement of the impact of all genes in an entire genome.
It has also been long held that cells use different mechanisms for regulating cell migration and growth. This conception was proved false by the researchers. Their findings on aggressively spreading breast cancer cells revealed – contrary to previous expectations – that a single cell protein (p120RasGAP) acts as an important inhibitor of both cell migration and growth.
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