Researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) have made a discovery that may lead to the development of a treatment capable of acting against more than half the cases of breast cancer. Using resveratrol, a bioactive compound found in grapes and red wine, scientists were able for the first time to inhibit the agglomeration of mutant versions of the p53 protein, a structure present in about 60% of tumors, and to prevent migration and proliferation of breast cancer cells.
The potential anti-cancer effects of resveratrol have been known for years, but to date no study has been able to show that the substance can act to reduce tumors caused by the aggregation of the mutant form of tumor suppressor p53. The Brazilians are the first to obtain this result in the laboratory.
Because they are found in more than half of malignant tumors, amyloid aggregates of mutant p53 are considered novel strategic targets in the fight against cancer. In its normal, unmutated version, the protein is responsible for the suppression of tumor cells, and for this reason is often referred to as “guardian of the genome”. A
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