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Case Western Reserve University Research Reveals Important Cancer Clues

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Supercomputer simulations that predicted the movements of a protein the size of 30 atoms allowed two biophysicists from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine to uncover important clues to understanding cancer.

This research project, led by Matthias Buck, professor of physiology and biophysics at the school of medicine, showed how cell membranes control the shape and function of an important cancer-causing protein.

The findings were recently described in the journal Structure.

The protein, called K-Ras, attaches to cell membranes and causes healthy cell growth when it’s activated by growth hormones secreted by the body. But mutated K-Ras proteins get further locked in the “on” position, causing rampant cell growth resulting in cancerous tumors. This is especially prevalent in pancreatic cancer, Buck said. Read more . . .

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