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Local scientists’ decoding of protein expected to help treat leukemia

LOCAL scientists announced that they have decoded a type of protein closely related with diseases, especially blood diseases. The discovery can be useful for new chemicals to treat leukemia.

The achievement was published in today’s world-leading journal Cell.

Scientists found in 2009 that TET proteins function in several aspects of cell growth control, including multiple different steps in gene expression. They also were found mutated in a number of specific diseases, especially blood diseases. But the mechanism was still unknown.

TET protein family has three members—TET1, TET2 and TET3.

The team led by Xu Yanhui from Fudan University’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences spent four years studying TET proteins and finally decoded the structure of TET2 and its effects with TET1 on acute myeloid leukemia.

“Based on the discovery, we have started to screen chemicals targeting acute myeloid leukemia,” Xu said.


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