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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Molecular Details Mesothelioma

As cells proceed through mitosis they are monitored by a system of chemical controls that check for DNA damage and look for the inability to perform essential cellular processes. If this system detects damage or errant functions, RNA message molecules are used to cause the cells to stop dividing. These controls cause damaged cells to either repair themselves or self-destruct. The latter process is called apoptosis or programmed cell death.

Recent research has uncovered a protein, called p53, (ad) which identifies chemical messages caused by genetic damage to the cellular DNA. P53 is produced by a gene that oversees tumor suppression. Once activated, p53 then stimulates the production of proteins that stop the DNA replication process. Without this valuable intervention, damage in the genetic machinery of the cell can accumulate unchecked. A direct consequence of failure to produce p53 is that damaged cells progress into a cancerous state. Today, defects in the functioning of p53 are associated with a variety of cancers, including some breast and colon cancers. A more detailed explanation of gene activation and suppression is provided below.

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