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Fusion of Proteins Triggers Mucosa-associated Lymphoid Tissue Cancer or MALT

According to the American Cancer Society, 65,540 Americans will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011 with 20,210 expected deaths. 8 percent of this dreadful form of cancer MALT lymphoma.

Researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered that fusion of two proteins API2 and MALT1 is responsible for triggering this cancer.

The results of the study are published in the January 28th, 2011, issue of the Journal Science.

The study found that the protein AP12 binds with an enzyme called NIK. This development places the protein MALT1 in an aggressive mode. It splits the NIK enzyme in a process technically known as “Cleavage”.

The consequence of this process is that the enzyme NIK turns into a malignant protein. It starts promoting the growth and spreading of cancer cells and inhibits the actions of applied treatments.

Researchers have found the API2-MALT1 fusion protein in 30-40 percent of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue, or MALT, a type of B-cell lymphoma.

Blocking the actions of the enzyme NIK or the fusion process can be a novel treatment technique to treat this dreadful form of cancer.

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