Scientists Discover That Cancer Cells Can Self-destruct

Every cell in the human body contains a "code of destruction" that can be triggered to self-destruct. This is the discovery made...

Every cell in the human body contains a "code of destruction" that can be triggered to self-destruct. This is the discovery made by researchers at Northwestern University, Illinois, who believe it could be used for the future fight against cancer. Specifically, they predict that malignant cells could be encouraged to "commit suicide" without using chemotherapy.

Currently, as soon as the natural protections of the cells feel that it is mutating into cancer, it automatically activates a destruction code to extinguish. Scientists have estimated that these were introduced more than 800 million years ago to protect the body from disease. However, although this limits the disease, this natural protection does not compete with aggressive tumors. Therefore, we "drug" cancer cells by chemotherapy in particular. By synthetically duplicating this natural code of self-destruction, the patient could benefit without the side effects of current treatments.

The life cycle of cells

Our cells follow a uniform life cycle:
  • Phase G1: Growth and preparation of replication
  • Phase S: Replication of DNA
  • Phase G2: Growth and preparation of mitosis
  • Phase M: Cell Division

During these different phases, cells have control points that correct any DNA abnormalities. In the case of the spread of the cancer cell, abnormalities pass through the control points and transform the affected cell. By successive cell division, the cell becomes cancerous. This transformation can take several years to become cancerous. Cell mutations are linked to chance or an external risk. These mutations can lead to an anarchic multiplication of these cells.

The mutations

3 main types of genes are responsible for cancer. These are the genes:
  • Oncogenes. These are genes that regulate the multiplication of cells. In case of mutation, they never stop proliferation.
  • Tumor suppressors. These are the genes that program the death of the cell (apoptosis). Thus the programmed death of the cells is canceled leaving the tumors proliferated.
  • Of repair. These genes responsible for repairing abnormalities are blocked and no longer repair mutations.

The mutations are done by:
Insertion, an additional DNA fragment is inserted
Duplication, too many large copies are created
Deletion, a fragment is not reproduced and the DNA is corrupted
Translocation, one fragment breaks and attaches to another chromosome
Inversion, the chromosome breaks in 2 places and the fragments are reversed.

The results of the study

"Now that we know the code of destruction, we can trigger the mechanism without chemotherapy and without playing with the genome," said lead author Marcus E. Peter, professor of cancer metabolism. Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. "We can use these small ribonucleic acids directly, introduce them into cells and trigger the stop button." "My goal was not to find a new artificial toxic substance," he added. "I wanted to follow the example of nature. I want to use a mechanism that nature has designed. "

He added, "Based on what we have learned in these two studies, we can now design artificial ribonucleic micro-acids that are much more potent at killing cancer cells than those naturally developed. However, he stressed that a potential therapy is slow to implement. Research is now holding information to exploit.
Scientists Discover That Cancer Cells Can Self-destruct

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Scientists Discover That Cancer Cells Can Self-destruct
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