UNC-Duke Study Finds Cellular Process Linked to Cancer

Aug 11, 2011

A team of researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke have taken a step forward in targeting diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. Scientists studied parts of human cells called mitochondria, which produce a cell's energy. The study found a protein linked to cancer causes mitochondria to divide. Duke Medicine doctor David Kashatus says that division can cause cancer cells to form under the right conditions.

David Kashatus: We've shown that this protein is specifically important for mitochondrial division, so now we have sort of a target to go for, to look for, in cancer to see how the mitochondrial division process is important for cancer.
Kashatus says the study might help drug manufacturers alter cell division that leads to cancer or other diseases. The study is published in this month's edition of the journal Nature Cell Biology.

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