Fish toxin to treat can­cer

Down to Earth - - SCIENCE -

R E S E A R C H E R S HAVE de­coded the molec­u­lar mech­a­nism of a fish toxin that could treat can­cer. They stud­ied a bac­te­rial pathogen of the Yersinia fam­ily ( Yersinia ruck­eri), which can cause the bubonic plague and se­ri­ous gas­troin­testi­nal in­fec­tions. This same pathogen causes the red­mouth dis­ease in salmon and trout. They were able to iden­tify a toxin, Afp18, pro­duced by the bac­terium. This toxin de­ac­ti­vates the switch pro­tein RhoA, which is nec­es­sary for cell di­vi­sion and is re­spon­si­ble for the spread of tu­mour. Na­ture Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, July 20

THINK­STOCK PHOTO

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