Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chemical change may help predict seriousness and course of some cancer

06.10.2003


A pattern produced by a chemical change that turns off genes in tumor cells may help predict the seriousness of a particular cancer, and perhaps its outcome.



The study by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute examined how a chemical change known as methylation spreads from one region of a breast-cancer gene to a neighboring region in tumor cells taken from patients.

The findings provide insight into how the methylation process progresses until it inactivates genes such as tumor suppressor genes that otherwise help protect against cancer. The findings are published in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research.


“Methylation is as important as gene mutations and chromosomal damage in the cancer process,” says principal investigator Tim Hui-Ming Huang, associate professor of human cancer genetics.

“Our findings suggest that the degree of methylation may correlate with the seriousness of the tumor. If that proves to be true, it would have important implications for cancer diagnosis and predicting a patient’s prognosis.”

Methylation is the addition of small chemical units known as methyl groups to DNA. Cells normally use methylation to inactivate unneeded genes during embryonic development and throughout life. Abnormal methylation, however, occurs in many types of cancers.

The investigators developed microarray technology to measure methylation levels along two regions of a gene known as RASSF1A, which becomes highly methylated in many kinds of cancer. Microarray technology allows researchers to measure changes in genes from many different tumors simultaneously.

The researchers examined the methylation profiles of RASSF1A genes taken from 37 primary breast tumors, seven breast-cancer cell lines and 10 samples of normal breast tissue.

Specifically, they measured methylation levels at 19 sites spanning two adjoining regions of the gene: the promoter region, which regulates the activity of the gene, and the neighboring first exon. Exons are stretches of DNA that contain the information for the protein described by the gene.

Genes from the normal breast cells showed low to moderate methylation in the exon and little or no methylation in the promoter. Nearly one-third of breast tumors sampled also showed low levels of methylation in the promoter region.

The remaining tumor cells and all the breast-cancer cell lines, however, showed moderate to high levels of methylation in the exon and various degrees of methylation in the promoter.

High levels of promoter methylation correlate with an altered structure of the gene, resulting in a tightly closed DNA configuration that prevents gene activation.

“Our findings show that progressive methylation occurs in tumors from patients and support the idea that methylation begins in the exons and extends into the promoter,” Huang says.

Huang and his colleagues are now working to correlate methylation patterns in leukemia and ovarian and lung cancer with the behavior and severity of the disease. Grants from the National Cancer Institute supported this research.

Darrell E. Ward | Ohio State University
Further information:
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/methcanc.htm

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>