Molecular Switch That Controls Skin Growth Identified

by Kathy Jones on  March 5, 2011 at 9:16 PM Research News   - G J E 4
A regulator of gene activity that tells epidermal stem cells when it's time to grow more skin, as well as a "crowd control" molecule that can sense cell crowding and turn the growth off has been identified by scientists.
 Molecular Switch That Controls Skin Growth Identified
Molecular Switch That Controls Skin Growth Identified

The study, in mice and in human cancer cells, provides clues to new therapeutic strategies for cancer, particularly squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common skin cancer, in which epidermal cell growth is inappropriately turned on.

The findings could also aid efforts to grow skin grafts and treat burn patients.

"We have found a molecular switch that tells your skin to keep growing or stop growing," said Fernando Camargo at Children's Hospital Boston.

Camargo and colleagues manipulated a molecule called Yap1 to cause massive tumor growth by triggering a pathway known as Hippo.

When they suppressed Yap1 function in mice, their epidermal skin stem cells failed to expand and they had thin, fragile skin. The opposite was also true.

However, activation of Yap1 also caused the mice to develop squamous-cell carcinoma-like tumors, the researchers found.

They further showed that Yap1 is inactivated by a known tumor suppressor called alpha-catenin, which binds to Yap1 and keeps it outside the cell nucleus.

In both mice and human squamous carcinoma cells with alpha-catenin mutations, Yap1 returns to the nucleus and becomes active again.

The study is published in Cell.

Source: ANI

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

View All