Protein Believed To Protect Against Cancer Has A Mr. Hyde Side

Posted on September 10th, 2009 by Kelley Luckstein

In a biological rendition of fiction's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, researchers from the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida and Harvard Medical School have found that a protein thought to protect against cancer development can actually spur the spread of tumors.

 

The scientists, reporting in the Sept. 3 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology, found that FOXO3a, a transcription factor that regulates gene expression, becomes active when growing cancer cells begin to starve.

 

"This is a complete reversal of what everyone thought about FOXO3a — that we should find a way to activate this transcription factor so as to fight cancer growth," says cancer biologist Peter Storz, Ph.D., the study's lead investigator from Mayo Clinic in Florida.

 

ScienceDaily, 09/04/09

Tags: Cancer, Cancer, Research

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