The crucial segment of protein triggers ‘death receptors’ when activated.

Researchers in California say they’ve discovered a biological “switch” that triggers cancer cells to self-destruct, which could open the door for improved treatments.

Scientists at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center in Sacramento found a crucial epitope, or a segment of a larger protein, on the CD95 receptor that releases a signal leading to cell death.

“CD95 receptors, also known as Fas, are called death receptors,” a UC Davis news release states. “These protein receptors reside on cell membranes. When activated, they release a signal that causes the cells to self-destruct.”

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