Cancer Cell Reprogramming Made Possible
Cancer is an abnormal cell growth in the body which can increase at an uncontrollable rate. It is not self contained whereby it starts out at one area in the body and then make it’s invasion throughout other body parts via blood streams. Cancerous cells strive on nutrition from the body to keep them alive and in turn hampers the healthy tissues. It pressurises and impedes the surrounding tissue causing pain and malfunctioning. They are unmanageable and the malignant pattern is yet unknown.
At present, there are ingenious ways of treating cancer to help patients cope up with terminal conditions. There are countless cancer types prevailing in different body parts. On going research and studies in this field have revealed many treatment scopes and findings. Latest exploration in Nature Cell Biology by a Senior professor, Panos Anastasiadis at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, finds that cancerous cells can now be reversed and reprogrammed back into normal healthy cells. This study is hoped to reveal a groundbreaking cancer treatment plan.
This study is a combination of two different concepts, cell-to-cell adherence and microRNA(aka miRNA) biology.
Cell adhesion is the process by which the cells are glued or attached to one another through cell surface protein called cell adhesion molecules(CAMs) to form an extracellular matrix. This mechanism adheres the cells to form different tissues. Adhesion proteins like E-cadherin and p120 catenin that forms epithelial tissues also exists in cancerous cells allowing them to progress and binds them to cell surfaces. These proteins however have a positive effect by acting as tumour suppressors when PLEKHA7 protein is triggered. The investigation of PLEKHA7 protein by Panos Anastasiadis allow the cells to be in their normal state. PLEKHA7 are adherens junction protein that links E-cadherin/p120 maintaining their stability and durability.
Cancer is shown to progress faster in absence of PLEKHA7, the tumour suppressor protein. Also, the majority of human tumour samples that were analysed show that apical structure of PLEKHA7 is missing while E-cadherin and p120 are still present. MiRNAs on the other hand, are non-coding RNAs that play key roles in the regulation of gene expression. They are responsible for biological activity such as cell differentiation, metabolism, immunity, muscle development and so on. It is uniquely defined and helps in tissue identification and differentiation.
Mutation in miRNAs can lead to cancer since it regulates cell maturation and formation. MiRNA expression level is associated with cancer type and determines if cancer is severe or slow growing. The researchers found that when miRNA signals in cancer cells is put back into it’s original condition, it would overrule the cancer growth pattern. This will make malignancy manageable and controllable.On learning the influence of cell adhesion mechanism and tumour suppressor proteins, a new approach to cancer therapy will soon be initiated and widespread.
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Source: Medical News Today