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  • Posted: 08/14/2012
NCI Cancer Center News

Moffitt Cancer Center-led study discovers how cancer cells 'hijack' a mechanism to grow

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of South Florida have discovered a mechanism that explains how some cancer cells “hijack” a biological process to potentially activate cell growth and the survival of cancer gene expression. Their study appeared in a recent issue of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. The newly discovered mechanism involves histones (highly alkaline proteins found in cells that package and order DNA), and in this case, histone H2B, one of the five main histone proteins involved in the structure of chromatin. Chromatin is the combination of DNA and proteins that makes up the contents of the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell.

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Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.