Researchers have discovered a new protein that inhibits division in the body. Treatment of cancer cells is closely related to cell division. It is important to contain fast-growing cancer cells, and researcher can do this steadying cell division. Hence, the new discovery could act as a launch pad for scientists aiming to develop cancer treatment lines. The protein is a class of kinase (PLK-1) that plays a key role in mitosis. Further, it involves chromosomal alignment during cell division.
The anti-cancer properties of the protein are a function of its ability to inhibit cell division. Further, the class of kinase can work well on cultured human cells as well. Nature Communications journal published these key findings recenbtly.
Despite the seemingly utilitarian nature of this research, several scientists have their doubts about it. Scientists at the University of Sussex have suggested a theory that is contrary to this discovery. Administering PLK-1 can prevent damage to the DNA, say Sussex’s scientists. The research was conducted at the University’s Genome Damage and Stability Centre (GDSC).
Rupturing and Splitting of Chromosomes
On the other hand, there are views supporting the research. A research fellow from the Wellcome Trust states that PLK1 prevents ‘splitting’ and ‘rupturing’ of chromosomes. This claim supports the discovery related to prevention of cancer cell growth in patients.
Nature Communications suggests that any form of intervention in the function of PLK1 could cause DNA rearrangements. Furtheer, PLK1 maintains the integrity of centromere, the central part of the chromosome. Hence, it is important to preserve PLK1 in the body to prevent multiplication of cancer cells.
The research has sprung debates across the medical fraternity. Several other scientists are making efforts to testify the claims made in the new study.