Sugar-coating enables cancer cells to survive

the ONA take:

Researchers have discovered that cancerous cells have a thick, "sugar-coating" that enables them to survive.

A research teams based at Cornell University, led by Matthew Paszek, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, recently examined the composition of cancer cell surfaces and found that cancerous cells have a particularly thick version of the coating found on healthy cells, which is composed of a protein-embedded membrane covered with polysaccharide chains. The long, sugar-studded molecules, called glycoproteins, causes the cell membrane to bend away from its environment, a change that in turn causes the cell integrins to cluster. This clumping effect impacts the cell's routine signaling process, which leads to unchecked growth and survival.

Factors that affect this cellular coating found on cancer cells can be genetic and diet-based, the researchers feel.

Sugar-coating enables cancer cells to survive
Sugar-coating enables cancer cells to survive
On the surface of every living cell, there's a protein-embedded membrane covered with polysaccharide chains. Cancer cells have an especially thick and pronounced version of this “sugar-coating.” The thick, slimy coating that would feel like a slug's skin is a crucial determinant of a cancer cell's survival.
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