Scientists have long believed that the presence of the protein p53, stops the growth of cancer in the pancreas. Hence, is known as the “tumor-suppressor.”The protein, p53, is useful in suppressing tumors in the body. The strand has been known to do this for a long time, but its true abilities were hidden until now. New research at Stanford University School of Medicine has uncovered some vital facts about p53.
The new research “Cancer Cell” suggests that protein p53 acts as a puppet master. It helps the body to activate many cells in the body which suppress the growth of the cancer cells in the body. However, it makes no difference if a gene contains the protein p53 or not. There are various genes which are affected by the protein. Therefore, it is not important to find which genes are affected by the protein and which genes aren’t.
Laura Attardi, the professor who began researching these mutations, began researching the subject through mice who were predisposed to pancreatic cancer. These mice had also been introduced to various p53 mutations as well.
It was found that too little of these mutations made the mice more inclined towards cancer, while too much of these mutations were found to cause some issues in further development. However, among all of these mutations, there was one mutation that succeeded in keeping a mouse free of any tumors.
This mutation could be quickly developed in the embryo and passed onto mice. The best part about this was that the mice which gained this mutation lived longer and had a cancer-free existence in comparison to the mice which received only p53 as a tumor suppressor. The result of the research found that the mice with mutations did not grow any tumors. Whereas, the ones with the mice with normal p53 protein, it was found that almost 40% of the mice died due to pancreatic cancer.
Laura Attardi’s team found out that the gene called Ptpn14 affects the growth of cancer directly in the body. Attardi also found an “axis” for the suppression, which is a formation of three different proteins.
At present, Laura Attardi and her team are working on providing more observation on the p53 protein and its working. They also want to find out if the protein p53 can help in suppressing the growth of other cancers other than pancreatic cancer.