IISER Bhopal strike at the root of head and neck cancer growth

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal have found that depleting the production of a specific protein kinase (p21-activated kinase 2 or PAK2), which is normally produced in excess in head and neck cancer, affects a chain of events that finally reduces the growth of head and neck cancer.
In cancer cells, the PAK2 protein is responsible for increased cell proliferation, cell migration, invasion into the extracellular matrix, colony formation and even resistance to certain cancer drugs. The team led by Prof. Sanjeev Shukla from the Institute’s Department of Biological Sciences found the PAK2 protein was produced in excess (overexpressed) in 24 of 26 human cancer samples.
When the production of this protein was reduced in three head and neck cancer cell lines, the cancer cells become less viable and had reduced ability to proliferate, migrate, from colony and even resist cancer drugs. These studies showed the importance of interfering with PAK2 protein levels to control head and neck cancer. So the researchers set to find the molecular mechanism behind the role of PAK2 protein in cancer growth.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sci-tech-and-agri/iiser-bhopal-strike-at-the-root-of-head-and-neck-cancer-growth/article24606292.ece

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