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Study may explain the cause of lymphoma

Tallahassee, Fla. -- U.S. cancer scientists say they've discovered an interaction between a cell signaling system and a gene that might be the cause of B-cell lymphoma.

Florida State University College of Medicine researchers led by Assistant Professor Yoichi Kato said their finding also suggests a similar interaction could be occurring during other types of cancer development.

The scientists said the gene -- BCL6 -- can inhibit one of the pathways cells use to transmit signals to other cells. Called the Notch signaling pathway, it's an important mechanism for cells to control gene regulation.

"There are very few molecules that we know directly inhibit Notch signaling," Kato said. "So that is why the interaction, and our finding, is very interesting to people in many areas -- cancer specialists, neuroscientists, and many others."

With more study of the interaction between the Notch signaling pathway and the BCL6 gene, Kato said scientists might be able to better understand how cancers form.

The study that was published in the journal Developmental Cell was recently presented during an international conference in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., for scientists studying early development of vertebrates.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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