Study points to importance of pathway in cancer progression
The cancer gene MYC is among the most commonly overexpressed oncogenes in human cancers. Most human cancers demonstrate high levels of MYC or its biological partners, including those of the breast, ovaries, lung, prostate, and skin, as well as leukemias and lymphomas. MYC is a regulator of other genes--a transcription factor--and scientists have been working for more than two decades to identify its target genes in order to understand how MYC causes so many cancers.
Now, scientists at The Wistar Institute have shown that MYC activates a gene called MTA1, which has been demonstrated by other researchers to regulate metastasis in a variety of cancers. While researchers have been exploring the possibility of blocking MTA1 to prevent metastasis, it was not previously known how MTA1 becomes activated in the first place. The study adds to the emerging picture of MYCs role in cancer development and progression and identifies the pathway linking MYC and MTA1 as an area for further exploration into the genetics of metastasis. The study appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is available in the journals online "Early Edition."
Marion Wyce | EurekAlert!
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