New insights into cancer formation
Sydney: Researchers have uncovered an important step in healthy tissue formation - signals that cause proteins to form the glue that binds cells into tissues but may also cause cancers and inflammation if disrupted.
"Many of the proteins in this network have been implicated in cancer, meaning this discovery will provide valuable insights into how healthy tissues are disturbed in disease," said Alpha Yap, professor at the University of Queensland`s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB).
"Cells are the basic building blocks of our body. Healthy tissues require their component cells to recognise and adhere to one another," added Yap, who led a team that discovered the signals prompting proteins to build the glue, the journal Nature Cell Biology reports.
"This adhesion is achieved through specialised bundles of proteins whose formation is promoted by a signalling protein called Rho. You can think of this signal like the conductor of an orchestra, making sure that all the players work together," added Yap, according to a Queensland statement.
Yap and his co-authors Aparna Ratheesh and Guillermo Gomez studied Rho and discovered a network of proteins that ensure Rho is activated at the correct time. It follows the Yap`s 2010 and 2011 discoveries of how such proteins may unstuck inappropriately.