Research NewsCell Biology

Superoxides Relay Ras Protein's Oncogenic Message

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Science  14 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5306, pp. 1567-1568
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5306.1567

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Health-conscious consumers may now have another reason for thinking that antioxidants might help protect against cancer. On page 1649, researchers report new results suggesting that superoxide-—a free radical consisting of an oxygen molecule with an extra electron—helps a protein called Ras transmit its growth-stimulating signals to the nucleus. Because overactivity of this pathway is thought to contribute to the development of a wide variety of cancers, the work provides further support for the idea that reactive oxygen species such as superoxide are good targets for anticancer drugs. George Bush, eat your broccoli!