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Protein key to lung cancer identified


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[Health India]: Washington, Nov 17 : Scientists from the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC) claim to have discovered a newly-identified protein to help them better fight lung cancer.

The study published in the Nov. 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute states that the protein by the name of Pirh2 when overespressed can diminish the activity of the p53, regarded as the most powerful tumour suppressor in the entire genome.

"The p53 gene is possibly the most important 'manager' in a cell. When it's not working properly, it can be disastrous. This is the first demonstration that Pirh2 expression is elevated in patients' tumours and supports the notion that it may be an important molecule in the development of lung cancer," the journal quoted Miguel Villalona, the associate professor of internal medicine in the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health and senior author of the study as saying.

The journal quoted Prof Wenrui Duan, the lead author of the study as saying the Pirh2 when overexpressed "acted like glue" thereby binding the substance known as ubiquitin to p53 protein, which subsequently destroyed p53 making them susceptible to malignant transformation.

Experiments carried on mice to study the link between Pirh2 and the development of cancer by revealed that Pirh2 expression was as high as 84 percent of human lung cancers and 93 percent of mouse tumours than it was in the normal tissue, implying that p53 expression was lower in tumour tissue than in normal tissue. (ANI)

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