27 April 2016

Chilean scientists discover a protein that would lower the levels of metastasis in carcinogenic cells

Vicente Torres, the researcher in charge of the study, together with a research team from the Advanced Center of Chronic Disease (ACCDIS), managed to identify one of the molecules that is involved in the metastasis of tumourous cells: “Rab 5”

There are many diseases that are classified as types of cancer, however, the high mortality rate of these illnesses has a common thread: metastasis. This term is used to define the dissemination of tumorous cells from one tissue to another, which is a complex phenomenon that is still misunderstood.

In this context, a professor from Universidad de Chile’s Odontology Faculty together with a research team from the Advanced Center of Chronic Diseases (ACCDIS) managed to identify one of the molecules that is involved in the metastasis of tumourous cells: “Rab 5”

“This protein is found in normmal and tumorous cells, but it is uncontrolled in the latter. We wondered why this happened and we found out that in certain tumours which are under a stress condition (because of lack of oxigen and nutrients), the tumur keeps growing. This strees condition makes the protein lose control and the tumorous cell becomes more aggressive and with higher levels of metastasis”, Said Professor Torres.

The work by the researchers lead them to conclude that, once this molecule is removed from tumorous cells by making use of molecular biology techniques, “we saw that the cell stopped moving, migrating and invading, lowering its levels of metastasis”.

This discovery opens up a new window in the fight against, and in the creation of drugs for medical treatments “that actually attack this protein, benefiting the patient, prolonging his/her life and diminishing the levels of metastasis”.

These breakthroughs were recently published by the prestigious medical magazine Oncotarget.

Source: Bío-Bío Chile.

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