Role of Protein PinX1 in Initiation and Suppression of Cancer
Researchers from the Harvard Medical School have discovered that low levels of a protein PinX1 is responsible for development of cancer. Reduced level of this vital protein is found to activate the telomerase enzyme and cause instability in chromosome structure. These undesirable developments ultimately lead to the onset of cancer.
The research study has confirmed the role of PinX1 in cancer initiation and inhibition at the same time. The results of this study are published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) March 2011.
A normal cell has 46 chromosomes. The end of a chromosome is called the telomere. This section of the molecular structure provides stability to it. Generally, the telomere reduces every time cell division takes place. As a result, a cell dies after certain period of time to be replaced by a new one.
An enzyme called telomerase gets activated in the case of cancer cells and does allow the telomere of these cells to reduce with time. This makes the cancer cells divide rapid and do not under go natural death.