Normal cells grow to a certain limit and stop and that’s it. They stop growing when they reach a certain limit. But cancer cells are known for their replicating capabilities. Cancer cells are known to be “immortal”.
A new study by the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences department, reveals the reason for their immortality. This new research sheds light on how a mutated gene plays the “behind the scenes” role.
The Mutated Gene
A type of sequence is present at the end of the chromosomes of the genetic material. They are known as Telomeres. They are solely responsible for the division and replication of the DNA. In normal cells, the continued replication shortens the length of the Telomeres and hence stops the growth. It has an encoded gene called TERT which can get mutated and result in the unending replication of cells.
The researchers also noticed another gene responsible for the immortality of the cells. One of the proteins that protect telomeres is TPP1. TERT along with TPP1 protein supports and encourages extra growth in cells.