Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
prelims Test Series 2019
बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Electrical Control of Cancer Cell Growth Discovered
Sep 04, 2015

The molecular switches regulating human cell growth do a great job of replacing cells that die during the course of a lifetime. But when they misfire, life-threatening cancers can occur. Research led by scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) has revealed a new electrical mechanism that can control these switches.

  • The research focused on a molecular switch called K-Ras. Mutated versions of K-Ras are found in a number of cancers and these mutations lock the K-Ras switch in the on position.
  • When K-Ras is locked in the on position, it drives cell division, which leads to the production of a cancer.
  • The scientists have identified a completely new molecular mechanism that further enhances the activity of K-Ras.
  • The study focused on the tiny electrical charges that all cells carry.
  • Scientists have shown that the electrical potential (charge) that a cell carries is inversely proportional to the strength of a K-Ras signal.
  • With the aid of a high-powered electron microscope, the investigators observed that certain lipid molecules in the plasma membrane respond to an electrical charge, which in turn amplifies the output of the K-Ras signaling circuit. This is exactly like a transistor in an electronic circuit board.
  • Initial work was done with human and animal cells and findings were subsequently confirmed in a fruit fly model.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.

http://www.drishtiias.com/upsc-current-affairs-article-Electrical-Control-of-Cancer-Cell-Growth-Discovered