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publicado em 13/03/2013 às 15h38:00
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New protein is key to understanding how cancer spreads in the body

Research shows, for the first time, the participation of ARHGAP21 protein in cell adhesion and migration

 
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Foto: Antoninho Perri - Ascom - Unicamp
Biomedical Karin Barcellos who led the study.
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Biomedical Karin Barcellos who led the study.

Study researchers from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) shows, for the first time, the participation of the ARHGAP21 protein in cell adhesion and migration. Unprecedented, a survey of healthy and cancerous human cells opens new perspectives for understanding the mechanism by which a cell, especially cancer, whether or not sticking to each other and how it spreads throughout the body.

The work was featured in the January issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry Sociedade Americana de Biologia Química e Molecular.

All cells in the body to form tissues and organs, must adhere. In tumors, when adhesion is lost, the cell can go out and invade other tissues, generating what is called metastasis. In the process of migration, adhesion is essential. If adherence is strong, the cell will not loose explains the biomedical Karin Barcellos, author of the study.

According to Karin, the research demonstrates for the first time the participation of ARHGAP21 in the process of the formation of cell-cell adhesion and she is in front of the migrating cell, interacting with microtubules that act in cell division. It was also found that this protein is essential for epithelial mesenchymal transition and that this transition is a very common phenomenon in the process of tumor metastasis. And without ARHGAP21, there is no such transition.

The process of adhesion and migration is essential for the formation of the body. When the embryo is forming, the cells undergo a process called epithelial mesenchymal transition. At this stage, the cells are together begin to drop and will form tissues and organs. Then, this process stops and passes each cell to perform their specific function. However, the epithelial mesenchymal transition is present in the mechanism of cancer metastasis and migration. Somehow, cancer cells that were stuck together come loose and begin to spread throughout the body.

This research opens up a range of things that can be affected by ARHGAP21. Studying this mechanism is to ensure that, when removing a tumor, it will not appear elsewhere. But this is all very new. We put a piece in the puzzle of 200 thousand pieces, said Karin.

<i> information Unicamp </ i>

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protein    cancer    ARHGAP21    Unicamp    Campinas University    Chemistry of the American Society of Molecular Biology and Chemistry    Karin Barcellos   
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