Cancer treatment could be advanced by new research which shows that certain cancers are impacted by the movement of water into and out of the cell.
Proteins which are responsible for maintaining the process of water entering and leaving the cell are called aquaporins.
The researchers are hopeful that once the role of the protein in the development of some cancers is established, an effected treatment can created.
Karin Lindkvist, from the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg, who carried out the research with Richard Neutze from the institution's Department of Chemistry, commented: "The structure of the yeast aquaporin that we have determined can be used to create inhibitors for human aquaporins, and this may in the long term lead to drugs that slow the growth of a cancer tumour."
The research was published yesterday in PLoS Biology, which is a biology journal published by the Public Library of Science.