Clipping proteins could inhibit abnormal cell growth in tumours

24 November 2014

Changes to a specific protein could play a key role in inhibiting cancer cell growth, a new study has found.

A team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found the protein histone H3.3 is key for regulating cellular senescence, which sees cells stop multiplying.

Publish in the journal Nature Communications, the study is the first to link this specific protein to cellular senescence, the authors state.

Using lab models, the researchers found that H3.3, a protein that regulates genetic material within cells, and in particular its clipped form, help to silence target genes that regulate the cell cycle.

To find out whether it was able to stop cells from dividing, the team used genome-wide transcriptional profiling to reveal that clipped H3.3 silences genes that regulate the division and duplication of a cell.

Lead investigator Dr Emily Bernstein, from the Department of Oncological Sciences at the university, said: "Clipped H3.3 may be a marker of cells that stop proliferating and has implications for cancer, in particular cancers like melanoma that have a senescence phase."

Posted by Jeanette Royston ​

 

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