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  • Snail, resisting rather than die

    snail-resisting-rather-than-dieThe fate of a cell is determined by signals from their environment and their ability to respond to them. Some signaling pathways are involved in vital decisions during the development of organisms, this being an example of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a transformation of epithelial cells into mesenchymal cells with migratory and invasive capacity in developing normal (in fact, crucial for the formation of different embryonic tissues, notably the mesoderm and neural crest), but also occurs in pathological conditions such as tumor progression in aggressive carcinomas.

    Researchers at the Cajal Institute CSIC have been working recently with the Snail gene super family, with results which suggest that one of the ancestral functions of this family is the induction of these transitions TEM, which results in that fibroblast transformation. In collaboration with the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Complutense University of Madrid, have shed new light on the transcription factor Snail. This zinc finger not only triggers the epithelial-mesenchymal transition by loss of epithelial markers, structural changes of the cell and expression of mesenchymal markers.

    The authors also show that, in addition to the above phenotypic alterations, Snail attenuates the cell cycle and confers resistance to apoptosis. In other words, it favors the conformational changes at the expense of cell division, indicating perhaps that the increased proliferation may not be decisive in the malignancy of a tumor. In fact, according to the authors, this capacity afforded by Snail to resist cell death may give the cell a selective advantage transition both in the case of embryonic cells must migrate to distant sites, such as the ability to metastasize in If the malignant cell.

    Published on August 28, 2012 · Filed under: News; Tagged as: , , , , , ,
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