Study may show ways to fight cancer

New research into the genes that control cell growth and behaviour has raised hopes of a breakthrough in understanding and tackling cancer.

An international team of scientists including experts from Cancer Research UK and Cambridge University have studied the structure of cells in yeast – with findings that may have implications for humans too.

The experts said it was the first time nearly all the genes required for reproduction of a cell and for a proper cell shape to be formed have been identified for a living organism.

The work, reported in Royal Society journal Open Biology, was carried out in yeast by studying a set of mutant strains in each of which a single gene had been deleted.

Each of these strains was examined to see if cell reproduction or cell shape was changed. In this way all the genes involved in these processes were identified.

Dr Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK’s senior science information manager, said: “For the first time our researchers have created a complete picture of the genes that control cell growth and behaviour in yeast cells, which could reveal more about how cancer starts and develops and highlight new ways to tackle the disease.

“Research like this will be central to the work at the Francis Crick Institute, a new super-laboratory in London headed by Professor Sir Paul Nurse, where scientists will tackle major diseases such as cancer using the very latest technologies.”

The scientists, led by Dr Jacqueline Hayles at Cancer Research UK, said it was hoped the research would help to identify cell cycle and cell shape genes in other organisms, including humans.

They noted: “Failure to accurately reproduce and maintain cell shape can disrupt tissue architecture or influence cell motility and may also lead to cell death or disease.

“We have generated a genome-wide resource, cataloguing the genes that when deleted disrupt the cell cycle or cell shape in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. This is the first such resource that qualitatively describes a near complete set of genes required.”

The following two tabs change content below.

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!