Indian researchers are getting closer cancer cure

Indian researchers are closer to potential cancer cure

6:01 AM, 15th April 2019
Saloni Sinha (standing) and Maneesha S Inamdar at their lab in JNCASR.
Saloni Sinha (standing) and Maneesha S Inamdar at their lab in JNCASR.

BENGALURU, INDIA: A group of researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru has created a mouse model that could help in finding a cure for leukaemia (blood cancer). The model aids to study blood disorders and bone marrow.

Led by Professor Maneesha S Inamdar, the study findings have been published in the journal Blood.

The team has discovered a stem cell protein called 'asrij' (meaning blood in Sanskrit), has found it plays a key role in preventing myeloproliferative disease, a condition characterised by excessive production of mature blood cells, reported TOI.

To know how the asriji works the team designed a mouse that is engineered to mark the ariji gene for deletion. The research was done in collaboration with RIKEN CDB, Kobe, Japan and the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru.

Co-authors of the study are Saloni Sinha, K Vijay Raghavan, Roja Yengkhom, Tirath Raj Dwivedi, Venkata Anudeep Bheemsetty, Takaya Abe, Hiroshi Kiyonari, and Inamdar.

According to reports, 90 percent of cancer cases are caused due to the mutation of a protein which regulates cell production-p53.

"Only 11 per cent of hematologic malignancies (cancer in the cells of blood-forming tissue) have mutant p53. Mechanisms that cause wild type p53 dysfunction and promote leukaemia are inadequately deciphered" read the journal.

"Despite no significant mutation of p53, we found levels of asrij were low, causing uncontrolled production of new cells,” Inamdar told TOI.

According to Saloni, the protein asrij protects p53 and helps in preventing cancer. Without asrij, p53 is destroyed and the blood stem cells multiply making it cancerous.

She added that the new research by the team explains how some cancer cells develop without a mutation in p53. It is a well-known fact among the scientists that mutations in p53 lead to cancer but they were unable to figure out how and this study will help them to understand it.

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