How cells keep growing even when under attack

Biochemists at UMass Amherst report that a damage-containment system in stressed bacteria can become overrun and blocked, but that this leads to cells responding by turning on different pathways to make sure that normal growth continues. Senior author Peter Chien suggests, “Cancer cells also are constantly growing under protein stress conditions, so understanding how cells in general take advantage of protease competition to respond to stress leads to tempting speculations that we can inhibit similar pathways to block uncontrolled growth.”