Published in Cancer Weekly, February 10th, 2004
The protein, known as Bcl-xL, normally protects cells from dying; and when the DNA in cells becomes damaged, Bcl-xL is modified so that it no longer keeps the cells alive. Hence, the cells with damaged DNA usually die, so preventing them from becoming cancer cells.
However, in the presence of a particular cancer gene, the usual modification of Bcl-xL following DNA damage doesn't occur, so cells with DNA damage are kept alive, resulting in cancer.
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