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Could Daffodils help us cure cancer? It may sound like a folk fairy tale but according to researchers from the RNA Molecular Biology Laboratory, there exists a scientific link between cancer and an extract from the flower.
Researchers have been able to extract a natural anti-cancer compound from the European-native Daffodils (Amaryllidaceae Narcissus) called haemanthamine. They observed that this compound blocked the production of a protein which is essential for the growth of cancer cells.
“Cancer cells are particularly sensitive to a reduction in protein synthesis,” explains the study which was published in the scientific journal Structure (Cell Press). The compound achieves this by binding the ribosome, a protein builder found in cells which is responsible for the synthesizing process.
The compound also hinders the production of such nanomachines in the nucleolus which will trigger the stabilization of the protein p53 and lead to the elimination of cancer cells. The research states that “the presence of p53 in cells is indeed required for the effect of nucleolar stress activation to be impactful on cell growth limitation.”
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