Study in Nature provides potential for cancer treatment targets

Researchers for our Department of Chemistry have been involved in new research, published in Nature, that provides potential for new targets for developing cancer treatments.

A study by the University of Cambridge revealed that most of the toxin formaldehyde in our bodies does not come from our environment – it is a by-product of essential reactions inside our own cells. The research was led by scientists from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

The research, published in Nature, has uncovered that formaldehyde is a by-product of a key process called the ‘one carbon cycle’. This cycle uses a vitamin - folate - to create DNA and essential amino acids, which cells need to function and multiply.

Dr Rebecca Cordell and Professor Paul Monks, from our Department of Chemistry, were involved in providing data for the research.

They said: “Cutting edge analytical capability, developed at the University of Leicester, has been translated from atmospheric chemistry to molecular biology.  This is one of those unusual collaborations that came from people recognising they had complimentary skills from adjacent fields.   Truly demonstrates the power of interdisciplinary research.”

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