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A Ludwig Cancer Research study has discovered a previously overlooked oxygen sensor in animal cells that functions very much like one used by plants. The discovery could open new approaches to treating cancer and many other diseases.

Novel cellular oxygen sensor discovered © Shutterstock

The ability of cells to sense hypoxia, or low oxygen, is vital to most organisms and the identification of a new cellular oxygen sensing system could lead to the development of drugs for many disorders, including heart disease and cancer. For example, the hypoxia at the core of many advanced tumors is associated with therapy resistance and poor prognoses.

“This discovery reveals a new mechanism by which human cells, including cancer cells, respond to low oxygen to change their biological circuitry,” said Professor Peter RatcliffeOxford branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

Read more (Ludwig Cancer Research website)