Israeli team finds two proteins that can suppress cancer
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Israeli team finds two proteins that can suppress cancer

In breakthrough, researchers in Technion lab of Nobel laureate Aaron Ciechanover discover proteins that affect cancerous cells' growth and development

Illustrative photo of cancer research at a lab at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. (Keren Freeman/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of cancer research at a lab at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. (Keren Freeman/Flash90)

A team of Israeli researchers at the Technion has discovered two proteins that can suppress cancer and control the cells’ growth and development.

The study was conducted in the laboratory of Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, an Israeli Nobel-prize winner in chemistry, and led by Dr. Yelena Kravtsova-Ivantsiv. The team included research students and physicians from the Rambam, Carmel and Hadassah Medical Centers.

In a paper published in the journal Cell last week, the researchers showed how the proteins could repress cancerous tissues and detailed how a high concentration of a protein called KPC1 and another called p50 in the tissue can protect it from cancerous tumors.

The research also detailed how the ubiquitin process — a cell system responsible for breaking down damaged proteins that can harm cells and tissues and co-discovered by Ciechanover, for which he won the Nobel — has a role in the mechanism.

Minister of Science and Technology, Daniel Hershkowitz (2L), in an unusual 2010 meeting with the Israeli scientists who have won a nobel prize in the last decade. Participating in the meeting were Professor Aaron Ciechanover, professor Israel Aumann (R), professor Ada Yonath, and Professor Peretz Levi (not seen). (Photo by Gil Yohanan/FLASH90)
Minister of Science and Technology, Daniel Hershkowitz (2L), in an unusual 2010 meeting with the Israeli scientists who have won a nobel prize in the last decade. Participating in the meeting were Professor Aaron Ciechanover, professor Israel Aumann (R), professor Ada Yonath, and Professor Peretz Levi (not seen). (Photo by Gil Yohanan/FLASH90)

The study was done on human tumors grown in mice, and samples of human tumors.

Ciechanover told PR Newswire that many more years of research are needed “to establish the research and gain a solid understanding of the mechanisms behind the suppression of the tumors. The development of a drug based on this discovery is a possibility, although not a certainty, and the road to such a drug is long and far from simple.”

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