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Protein discovery offers new hope for preventing stem cell division, reducing tumors

Scientists have found that an excess amount of p16 protein in stem cells prevents them from regenerating, making them less likely to turn into tumors.

Russian and foreign molecular biologists discovered that the accumulation of old cells within the tissues of the human body, which secrete large amounts of the p16 protein, leads to a sharp decrease in the effectiveness of their regeneration through biochemical activation of gene chains associated with their work. This was reported Monday, October 9, by the press service of the Russian Science Foundation.

Professor at Sirius University in Russia, Oleg Demidov, explained that the results of the study showed that removing cells with high levels of p16 protein from tissues improves reprogramming protocols. Based on these results, it will be possible to increase the effectiveness of obtaining the stem cells necessary to treat many diseases and rejuvenate various organs.

For the past five years, biologists have been thinking about the possibility of "switching on" the genes responsible for the work of stem cells to rejuvenate the human body. In 2016, the first experiments of this kind were conducted on mice, which lived 20% longer thanks to this innovation. Subsequent experiments showed that this procedure was not equally effective on all body tissues in mice, and not on all mice.

Professor Demidov and his colleagues discovered that a large part of the differences in the strength of the effect of anti-aging treatment on different tissues and cells is due to the fact that they contain different amounts of the protein p16, because this molecule is one of the main “brakes” of cell division, which is activated with age and thus reduces the possibility of them turning into tumors.

Source: TASS - Publication date: 10/12/2023


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