How activating a protein can trigger cancer

If knowing more about the proteins that act in the development of cancer is a challenge for researchers who focus on the subject, they can now find a new path to explore in the search for a cure for the disease.

A study published in Life Sciences Alliance Magazine brought the findings that a team of scientists had from investigating some of the most recurring forms of cancer: skin cancer, pancreatic cancer and childhood brain tumour.

What caught the attention of researchers at the University of California at Irvine, in the United States, was the presence of the GLI1 protein, active both in cell renewal and in several tumor species.

The mechanism of interaction in which it is involved, meanwhile, is quite complex: once the GLI1 protein is activated by Hedgehog (HH) signaling, a process linked to embryonic cell development and tissue renewal, it ends up by binding to another protein. called SUFU, which suppresses it and prevents it from turning on genes in cells.

However, the weakening of this binding can occur under specific circumstances and gives space for the GLI1 protein to enter the nucleus of cells and cause them to grow disorderly, thus increasing the risk that an individual has cancer.

The objective of the research is to enable advances in the understanding of the mechanism in which the GLI1 protein is involved.  (Source: Unsplash)The objective of the research is to enable advances in the understanding of the mechanism in which the GLI1 protein is involved. (Source: Unsplash)

The quest for prevention

Another important point raised in this investigation is that several mutations present in the SUFU protein have been detected in other types of tumors due to the transcription made from GLI1, reinforcing how much the role of the interaction between these particles deserves to be investigated. be carefully analyzed.

The search for ways to prevent the emergence of tumors has been constant, and medicine has managed to make significant progress in this regard. Today, we have as an example the fact that new vaccines be the result of these achievements.

In the case of diseases caused by viruses, the quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against HPV, is able to prevent the formation of cervical cancer. The challenge, however, is to effectively reduce the occurrence of other tumor types.

If these conclusions on the performance of protein present in cancer seem promising, it is because they also open up the possibility of developing less invasive treatments for patients in the future.

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