An important role in the mechanism of protection against cancer is played by the actin protein, which creates filamentous components of the cytoskeleton cell, called microfilaments.
Australian scientists have uncovered a previously unknown mechanism by which they learned how cancer cells are able to restore their DNA and become invincible to standard treatment. This is reported in an article published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.
The researchers found out that actin has another function, controlling the processes that take place inside the nucleus where the genetic material is stored. In cancer cells, DNA replication (copying) during cell division is susceptible to failure, and scientists are using this vulnerability to target them with chemotherapeutic drugs that disrupt the division process.
According to the scientists, actin threads change the shape of the nucleus, enhancing DNA repair and restarting the replication process. At the same time, cancer cells become immune to medications.
Damaged DNA slides along the microfilaments and enters the area of the nucleus where the recovery process is most effective. Drugs that target this mechanism can kill cancer cells that are already having difficulty replicating. In addition, they will increase the efficiency of chemotherapy.