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Cellís microenvironment linked to cancer

by Medindia Content Team on  March 22, 2005 at 6:51 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Cellís microenvironment linked to cancer
"Medical research has for decades focused on finding the underlying genetic abnormalities that cause disease, but this work demonstrates that genes themselves are controlled by components outside the nucleus and these, in turn, are regulated by the cell's microenvironment," said researcher Maniotis.

Research finding at the University of Illinois, Chicago has found that tumor malignancy also depends on the molecules that surrounds the cancer cell. This study which was published in the American Journal of Pathology, explains how the molecules surrounding the cell is involved in the alteration in genome package.

An enzyme that cuts DNA at certain sequences does not snips the DNA of aggressive cancers like melanoma, due to segments of DNA are more twisted and compact in these kind of cancers and the enzyme cannot get access to the DNA.

Studies on various cancer tissues showed that invasive cancers are more resistant to the action of this enzyme. This is due to the presence of rich mixture of molecules in the extracellular matrix of the cancer cells and these molecules manipulate the skeletal framework of the cell and the proteins that envelope the DNA. These proteins keep the DNA in a Stiff wire format, tightly compressed protected from the enzymes which break them.

"Medical research has for decades focused on finding the underlying genetic abnormalities that cause disease, but this work demonstrates that genes themselves are controlled by components outside the nucleus and these, in turn, are regulated by the cell's microenvironment," Maniotis said.

"Many current forms of chemotherapy target DNA directly and are associated with significant side effects," Folberg said. "We're developing methods of manipulating the genome that may be non-toxic and still highly effective."

The study was supported by grants from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Energy.



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