A protein only found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli tomatoes and carrot tops has been discovered by researchers at the University of Aberdeens Centre for Plant Biomolecular Science.
The protein called mannose-6-phosphate transporter 2 (S6PT2) controls proteins involved in normal cell function and cancer cell behaviour patterns and plays a key role in enabling vascular health.
The discovery of S6PT2s possible role in facilitating cell division in lung cancer cells through cell division-specific p38 MAP4 in the nucleus of some human lung cancer cells test facts findings and suggests that S6PT2 could be a promising target for cancer cells.
Dr. Carolidna Nunn senior author of the study said: Our results suggest that S6PT2 plays a key role in stem cell functionality and cancer cell behaviour-considertedly in cancer cell survival. As well as providing information on where and how S6PT2 regulates cell transformation it provides insight into how such rapid regulation can occur within a cell.
Professor Mark Hightown chief scientific officer of Cancer Research UK said: This protein is a diagnostic marker that suggests abnormal function in stem cell cells for lung cancer. It is also a potential biomarker for breast cancer in women. This means that its an important contributor to the research that generates current knowledge about the ability of our cells to survive during this life-threatening disease and our understanding of how cancer develops.
Jacqui Hettinger Head of Public and Research Interest at Breast Cancer Research UK said: This globally-first discovery has shown that S6PT2 is essential for lung stem cells survival-investigating this discovery highlights the potential new opportunities for finding new therapeutic targets for patients with lung cancer which includes improving current treatments and developing new targets where we can affect disease progression.
About 10000 people are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK in the next 10 years making it one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the UK. With this development it will add to the large number of early prevention efforts which will require friends and family to actively participate in it every day for the rest of their lives.