A protein called histone H3-3 plays significant role in capping the growth of cancerous cells, found researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
They found during their experients that some changes to the protein structure altered the cancerous genes effectively stemming the cancer cell growth.
Led by Emily Bernstein of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, this is the first study that identified histone H3-3 protein as a key regulator in the process of cellular senescence that stops cells from multiplying or growing.
Sensescence is a process increasingly accepted by scientists to arrest the growth of cancerous cells but research is still at its early stage about the genes that enable cells to multiply or stop them from growing.
The researchers attribute it to cellular senescence, which is triggered by changes in the protein complexes called chromatin in the nuclei of a cell. In case of histone H3.3, a protein that works alongwith chromatin to regulate genetic material within cells, may help eventually in silencing the genes that regulate the cell cycle.
From their findings, scientists say the cell multiplication can be controlled by the cellular senescence that creates a positive chromatin to repress cell or cancerous tumor growth. The protein histone H3.3 and its clipped form without 21 amino acids of the histone tail and other modifications, prevents normal cells from multiplying.
The study has been published in journal Nature Communications.