Protein Critical for Tissue Regeneration Discovered

Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Mar. 20, 2012) — A flatworm known for its ability to regenerate cells is shedding more light on how cancer could be treated and how regenerative medicine could better target diseases, according to researchers at the University of California, Merced.

In research published online in the Journal of Cell Science, biology Professor Néstor Oviedo has shown that signaling by a protein called Target of Rapamycin (TOR) — found in humans and most other mammals — is crucial for planaria’s unique tissue regeneration. Disabling the protein prevents the flatworm’s regrowth, a sign that disabling it in abnormal cells could prevent the growth of a cancer.

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