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 . . .