A great deal of research is being done on better understanding the underlying mechanism behind cell proliferation and organ size in humans. Such initiatives focus on finding novel approaches for regenerative medicine and cancer therapy. Recent research have shed light on stem cell apoptosis and the role of transcription factors—proteins—that can expand our understanding on common cancer treatment. A recent research at Technion–Israel Institute of Technology has uncovered new insights on molecular mechanisms that directly affects the organ size by regulating the size of sebaceous gland located in the skin epidermis. They further showed in vivo that a special protein caspase-3 induces cell proliferation to this effect. The scientists elucidated how the non-apoptotic role of caspase protein is a key determinant of cell proliferation leading to organ size. The finding is in contrast to the commonly accepted scientific belief that the protein has a role in only tumor cell apoptosis.
Molecular Mechanism Based on Non-Apoptotic Machinery Regulates Cell Proliferation
The implication of the findings is if caspase-3 is inhibited or removed, the size of sebaceous gland reduces. Overall, the findings suggest that manipulating the non-apoptotic role of caspase protein can favor the common cancer therapies, such as radiation treatments and chemotherapies, and also promote effective would healing.
Manipulating Caspase-3/YAP pave way for Novel Cancer Therapies
The researchers found in vivo experiments that yes-associated protein (YAP) as a transcription factor is a key regulator of skin size. The proliferation of YAP will invariably trigger tumors and lead to cancer development. They proved that the caspase-3 protein can liberate YAP from the cell membrane by translocating it to cell nucleus and promote cell division. Hence, the manipulating of YAP can be a potential approach in advanced cancer tumors therapies and novel treatments, they opined.