Neurosurgeon Albert Kim, MD, PhD, and his colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have pinpointed a protein relationship that may be responsible for halting the growth of new tumor cells. Certain proteins, SOX2 and CDC20, work directly together in brain tumors. “The researchers found that the tumor stem cells’ ability to make SOX2 could be turned up or down via another protein, CDC20. Increasing SOX2 by boosting levels of CDC20 also increased a tumor’s ability to grow once transplanted into mice. Eliminating CDC20, meanwhile, left tumor stem cells unable to make SOX2, reducing the tumor stem cells’ ability to form tumors.” Further research is being done by Kim and his team to block CDC20 through different approaches.
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