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Protein Link Between Cancer In Humans And Lifespan Of A Worm Found

by Medindia Content Team on June 4, 2006 at 12:45 PM
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Protein Link Between Cancer In Humans And Lifespan Of A Worm Found

It was reported in the journal Science that a team of Californian researchers have claimed that a protein that can prevent cancer in people also plays an important role in making microscopic worms live longer. The scientists failed to explain the logic behind the statistical equation, the longer you live, the greater your chances of getting cancer, though they did acknowledge the truth.

It is believed that a key element in determining whether a human cell might become cancerous would be the so-called 'checkpoint' protein. This protein helps preventing cancer in people by stopping damaged cells from dividing. The researchers have now found that when they removed this protein from a microscopic worm, C.elegans, the worm lived to 30% longer. This has led to their thinking that a lack of this protein means the reason as to why humans live longer, but with an increased risk of cancer.

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The researchers feel that the protein's dual function could also raise another important question on whether the presence of this protein ensures a shorter but cancer-free existence for some people. The scientists explained in their study that there might be other proteins, which would cause an impact on both cancer and ageing, and they are going to focus their research now on cataloguing the genes, which make up these proteins to help isolate the best ones for drug therapies.

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