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A micronutrient with major effects on cancer cell viability

Selenium is a micronutrient essential for the generation of selenoproteins, which function predominantly by detoxifying cellular reactive oxygen species. In this issue, Carlisle et al. describe a novel mechanism whereby perturbing selenium utilization via inhibition of SEPHS2, a component of the selenocysteine-biosynthesis pathway, results in selenide poisoning and cancer cell death.

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Fig. 1: Selenophilic cancer cells are dependent on SEPHS2 for selenide detoxification.


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Author information




B.P., A.K. and A.V wrote the article. All authors approved the final version.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Barrie Peck.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Kapara, A., Vannini, A. & Peck, B. A micronutrient with major effects on cancer cell viability. Nat Metab 2, 564–565 (2020).

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