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The Glitsch Group's paper "Coincidence Detection of Membrane Stretch and Extracellular pH by the Proton-Sensing Receptor OGR1 (GPR68)" reveals how the activity of the OGR1 protein may be a crucial factor in the progression of certain diseases

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Cells, tissues and organs not only respond to chemicals in their environment, but the physical environment itself, such as how stiff it is or its temperature, also provides vital cues and signals. 

The Glitsch group have identified a protein called OGR1 that measures both extracellular pH and tissue stiffness and becomes more active the more acidic and the stiffer the environment.

Extracellular acidosis and stiffening of tissues accompany many diseases, including cancer, so the OGR1 protein is optimally placed to detect and report these pathological changes, making it an attractive therapeutic target for a number of diseases.

Read the full Current Biology paper here