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Cancer: a disease of Protein aggregation.

CANCER: A DISEASE OF PROTEIN AGGREGATION. Certain mutations of the protein p53, a tumor suppressor, can cause the protein to fold in an abnormal manner that causes proteins to cluster, which disrupts the protective function of normal p53 and other related proteins. If the p53 protein works normally, the protein controls cell division. But if there is a mutation in the protein, cell division is uncontrolled, which may result in a tumor. Mutations in the protein are seen in about half of cancer cases, which makes p53 an important target for new cancer therapies. Protein aggregation occurs in some cancers, Alzheimer's disease (AD), mad cow disease, and systemic amyloidosis, a group of diseases that stem from the abnormal deposition of the protein amyloid. However, the diseases are unconnected; in cancer, the clustering of p53 leads to uncontrolled cell growth, while in AD, clustering beta-amyloid protein causes brain ceils to die.

The findings were published in Nature Chemical Biology by researchers Frederic Rousseau and Joost Schymkowitz, both from Vrije University in Brussels, and Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium, and colleagues.

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Title Annotation:CANCER
Publication:Duke Medicine Health News
Date:Jul 1, 2011
Words:179
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