Image: Salk Institute
The scientists of the Salk Institute in California have found a way to prevent the development of cancer through autophagy — the process of absorption and destruction of defective cells. About it reported in a press release on MedicalXpress.
In some cases, cancer cells arise when telomeres that protect the ends of chromosomes from damage, become too short or destroyed at all. Telomeres inevitably shorten with each cell division and eventually cell reaches a state called “crisis”. In this state, most of the cells ceases to function and dies. However, if the cell continues to exist, its chromosomes can merge with each other tips that can cause serious DNA damage. Sometimes the mutations make the cell becomes immortal.
In the new work, scientists have demonstrated that a key role in cell death during crisis is not the apoptosis (a type of programmed cell death), and a similar process is autophagy. The researchers turned off autophagy in the crisis cells and found that cells continued to proliferate and accumulate some serious damage in the DNA, are characteristic of cancerous tumors.
It is known that the deactivation of autophagy in malignant tumors may be an effective method against cancer, which uses this process to produce energy that goes to its growth. However, the results showed that the activation of programmed cell death also helps in the fight against the disease.
Video, photo All from Russia.