Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Hunting for Sox
06 February 2013

Hunting for Sox

These snaking trails of coloured blobs are leading researchers to a deeper understanding of prostate cancer. These are thin slices of tissue taken from healthy prostate samples, labelled with fluorescent tags that highlight different molecules. On the left, cells carrying a protein called p63 are picked out in red, while cells bearing p63 together with another protein – Sox2 – are yellow. On the right, this image has been overlaid with a blue stain that detects the nuclei of the cells. Sox2 is well known to biologists as it plays an important role in stem cells, but these images show that it's found in normal prostate cells too. Scientists have now discovered that there are particularly high levels of it in prostate cancers that are resistant to hormone therapy, so understanding what Sox2 is up to in these tumours could lead to more effective treatments in the future.

Written by Kat Arney

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