In the cell cycle, there are many cells that are not needed and need to be eliminated. If they aren’t eliminated, then it can cause a lot of trouble. Scientists studied the worm species, C. elegans and found that they participate in a process called cell extrusion. Cell extrusion is basically where cells are expelled from a layer of tissue without affecting other cells around them. Organisms usually have a process called apoptosis which is programmed cell death to control any abnormalities. However the C. elegans, along with other organisms have cell extrusion as a backup. The main question however was how exactly is the backup mechanism triggered. Scientist Vivek Dwivedi studied many genes of the C. elegans and found that these genes get active once the cells get ‘stuck’ in the replication process. Interestingly enough, despite the size of the cells, if they were then able to function properly, they didn’t undergo the process of cell extrusion. Scientists wanted to see if this process could be applied to mammals. They intentionally put kidney cells under DNA replication stress and found that this quadrupled the rate of extrusion. They also found that a cancer suppresor, P53, was also found in iniating extrusion. Scientists ultimately came to a conclusion that extrusion was a much simpler process and may have been the predecessor to apoptosis which evolved at a later time.
This article is very insightful because cancer is very serious and any new research can be used for treatments against it. This article takes a very integral part of an organism’s body, cell replication, and gives insight on how a certain mechanism can be used to control unwanted cells. Cancer arises due to a failure of apoptosis and uncontrollable cell division. If cell extrusion can be used as a backup when apoptosis fails then this can go a long way in preventing unwanted cell growth. All in all, this study is one of the many starting points in finding ways to combat unwanted cell growth and possibly find a cure for cancer.