Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Contact Inhibition

Naked mole rats never get cancer.

Their contact inhibition mechanism is more sensitive, which means they stop dividing more quickly when they touch nearby cells.

But so many factors are involved in cancer development that I think the real difference is that they have two contact inhibition mechanisms. A backup ensures that losing a single gene isn’t enough to knock out the whole pathway and allow hyperplasia (overproliferation of cells, the first step towards cancer).

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