Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mayo, UCSF team discovers genomic variant that increases risk of brain tumors

27.08.2012
People who carry a "G" instead of an "A" at a specific spot in their genetic code have roughly a six-fold higher risk of developing certain types of brain tumors, a Mayo Clinic and University of California, San Francisco study has found.

The findings, published online today in the journal Nature Genetics, could help researchers identify people at risk of developing certain subtypes of gliomas which account for about 20 percent of new brain cancers diagnosed annually in the U.S. and may lead to better surveillance, diagnosis and treatment.

Researchers still have to confirm whether the spot is the source of tumors, but if it's not, "it is pretty close," says senior author Robert Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., a pathologist at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. "Based on our findings, we are already starting to think about clinical tests that can tell patients with abnormal brain scans what kind of tumor they have, just by testing their blood."

A few years ago, researchers began hunting for regions of the genome that might be associated with the development of gliomas. These groups observed a portion of chromosome 8 that contained single nucleotide polymorphisms or "SNPs" associated with brain tumors. Since then, Dr. Jenkins and Margaret Wrensch, Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, have been using a combination of sophisticated genomic techniques to search for the SNP causing brain tumors to form.

They honed in on seven candidates. One -- the SNP called rs55705857 -- confers a relative risk approaching that is seen with BRCA1, the breast cancer gene. Interestingly, this region was only found through the most laborious method used by the researchers, next generation sequencing, suggesting that experimental and mathematical shortcuts may miss such rare, highly potent gene variants, Dr. Jenkins says.

Drs. Jenkins and Wrensch found that having the "G" guanine version of this SNP -- rather than the more common "A" adenine version -- was strongly associated with slower growing gliomas.

"Being able to tell people that the mass in their brain is this type of tumor is actually good news, because it has a much better prognosis than other brain tumors," Dr. Jenkins says. "So what is it that predisposes people to develop less aggressive, but still lethal, gliomas? That makes understanding the function of this variant even more important."

As part of their work, the researchers compared the sequence of the gene variant throughout mammalian evolution and found that it has been conserved as far back as the platypus. Computer modeling indicated that the region may be a microRNA, a special kind of nucleic acid that controls the activity of genetic messages within cells. The modeling places the SNP within the functional part of the microRNA, suggesting that a change in genetic code from an A to a G could have significant consequences. The research team is investigating whether the microRNA actually exists, and what its functional implications might be.

"The altered microRNA might target tumor suppressor genes, it might activate a cancer gene, it might be involved in regulating the stability of the genome, or there might be something else going on altogether," Dr. Jenkins says. "One of the big challenges of the current genomic era is to assign functions to all these new gene variants."

Study funding at Mayo Clinic was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Bernie and Edith Waterman Foundation and the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Family Foundation. Dr. Jenkins is the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Individualized Medicine Research at Mayo Clinic.

Study funding at the University of California San Francisco, was supported by the NIH, the National Brain Tumor Foundation, the UCSF Lewis Chair in Brain Tumor Research and by donations from families and friends of John Berardi, Helen Glaser, Elvera Olsen, Raymond E. Cooper and William Martinusen.

More information about gliomas and their treatment is available from Mayo Clinic and the University of California, San Francisco.

About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

As a leading institution funded by the National Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center conducts basic, clinical and population science research, translating discoveries into improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. For information on cancer clinical trials, call 507-538-7623.
About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit MayoClinic.com or MayoClinic.org/news.
Contact:
Joe Dangor
507-284-5005 (days)
507-284-2511 (evenings)
Email: newsbureau@mayo.edu

Joe Dangor | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

nachricht Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>