Cells aiding melanoma ‘identified’https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/cells-aiding-melanoma-identified/

Cells aiding melanoma ‘identified’

In what may pave the way for preventing melanoma,an Indian-origin scientist-led research team claims to have identified “co-conspirator” cells in the genesis of this dangerous form of skin cancer.

In what may pave the way for preventing melanoma,an Indian-origin scientist-led research team claims to have identified “co-conspirator” cells in the genesis of this dangerous form of skin cancer.

Arup Indra and colleagues at Oregon State University have found that changes in the body’s pigment-producing cells,where melanoma takes hold,are only part of the story — other skin cells in what’s called the “microenvironment” of cancer site also play a key role,Biology & Nature journal reports.

Indra said,“These adjacent cells,which are called keratinocytes,are actually the driver for the changes and malignant transformation in the pigment-producing cells,which are called melanocytes. So there are two avenues — the pigment-producing cells where the cancer develops,and the adjacent skin cells which ‘talk to’ the pigment-producing cells in the form of signals. They work in coordination,they’re partners in crime.”

Scientists found a protein called RXR-alpha in skin keratinocytes that appears to protect pigment cells and prevent them from progressing to invasive melanoma.