A protein belonging to part of the immune system that researchers once hoped to harness to attack cancer cells actually spurs tumor growth, according to a study reported in linkurl:__Nature Immunology.__;http://www.nature.com/ni/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ni.1655.html Researchers knocked out a receptor for one of a group of 30 proteins called linkurl:complement proteins,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/23823/ part of the body's normal immune defense repertoire, and observed decreased tumor growth in a mouse model. "This elegant study puts complement in the row of factors that can enhance tumor growth," said Arko Gorter, an immunologist at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, who was not involved in the study. Complement cascade is made up of about 30 proteins that cleave one another in a series of reactions that radiates from an initial binding site on a pathogen. Best known for its action against bacteria, complement proteins can kill a bacterium without the help of immune cells by burrowing into the...
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