Friday, April 26, 2024

Epigenetic Factors in Drosophila are Capable of Causing Cancer Without Any Somatic Mutation.

You would not be wrong to believe that cancer can be generated from mutations in genes, but it might not be the only way. 
Researchers have identified another mechanism via epigenetic factors that can kickstart the growth of a cancerous tumor, no somatic mutations involved.

Using Drosophila flies, researchers looked for a mutation-free way that cancer cells may be able to generate. They found that the Polycomb group (PcG) protien was responsible for the formation and occurrence of different variety of tumorogenesis. PcG plays a role in regulating transcription, silencing genes at times and activating them at others. When this process becomes dysregulsted, neoplastic cells can form and unfortunately like most forms of cancer, will not stop after the dystegulating protein is fixed. As you might expect, thus leaves a lot of concern and question to how we look at cancer. The polycomb group protein is found in humans and functions the same. There are also other epigenetic factors identified that can lead to tumor growth. 

I enjoyed this article as now after working with Drosophila for a semester, I now am reading about what we can imply from this little fly to diseases that affect us the same.

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