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Investigating how cancers can spread around the body

  • Researcher: Dr Angeliki Malliri
  • Institution: The University of Manchester
  • Award Amount: £181,395 for 3 years from May 2012
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Investigating how cancers can spread around the body
One of the main things that make tumours so dangerous is their ability to invade into surrounding tissues and organs then spread throughout the body, known as metastasis. Individual cancer cells push their way through the tissue and are then carried in the blood stream and can form new tumours in other parts of the body, known as secondary tumours or metastases. One protein involved in this process is called Rac1. Dr Malliri has recently found that Rac1 is able to interact with another type of protein called an E3-ubiquitin ligase. E3-ubiquitin ligases work by sticking ubiquitin molecules onto proteins. This often flags up to the cell that the ubiquitin coated proteins should be destroyed. Dr Malliri is now using her Worldwide Cancer Research grant to study the E3-ubiquitin ligase's ability to stick ubiquitin onto Rac1 and what role this plays in allowing tumours to spread.
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