Arf gene became more effective in stemming cell growth when it joined forces with p53
Researchers at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital have looked back in evolutionary time and identified what may be a gene that was once only moderately effective in slowing down cellular reproduction, until it linked up with a more efficient set of genes to create a powerful anti-cancer response.
The gene, called Arf, was already known to have cancer-suppressing activity. Arf responds to cancer-causing environments by activating the well-known tumor suppressor gene, p53. In turn, p53 activates a battery of other genes to stop cell growth or, in extreme cases, to trigger cell death in response to a variety of harmful conditions, such as DNA damage or activation of oncogenes (cancer-causing genes). In fact, loss of Arf or p53 is a common event in many human cancers.
Bonnie Cameron | EurekAlert!
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