Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pseudogenes may provide clearer understanding of biomarkers

07.07.2014

Alas, the thankless pseudogene.

Dysfunctional, unloved and seemingly of little use, these poor-cousin relatives of genes have lost their protein-coding abilities. They contain material not essential for an organism's survival and are the "last stop" for removal of genomic waste.


This is Han Liang, Ph.D.

Credit: MD Anderson Cancer Center

Not any more. The pseudogene's day may have arrived thanks to scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Han Liang, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the Cancer Center is advancing knowledge of these largely overlooked but increasingly attractive genetic oddities. He and his team completed a study that generated pseudogene expression profiles in 2,808 patient samples representing seven cancer types. That meant analyzing 378 billion RNA sequences to measure the expression levels of close to 10,000 pseudogenes.

The results indicated that the science of pseudogene expression analysis may very well play a key role in explaining how cancer occurs by helping medical experts in the discovery of new biomarkers. The study's findings appear in today's issue of Nature Communications.

Understanding of biomarkers is important for developing therapies that targeted specific tumor sites and for gaining new insight into how patients will fare with various cancers and treatments. Biomarkers are molecules that can indicate the presence of a condition or disease, and are increasingly being used to measure how the body responds to therapies. The emerging field of personalized medicine is built on customizing treatment for patients based on biomarkers.

Liang's study is novel in that understanding of pseudogenes relies on analyzing large numbers of patient samples. Previous studies have been limited by the size of the patient sample groups. Liang's team analyzed data made available from The Cancer Genome Atlas research program. The program is supported by the National Cancer Institute and National Human Genome Research Institute within the National Institutes of Health and is looking at genomic changes in more than 20 different types of cancer.

"The study surveyed seven cancer subtypes including those for breast, kidney, ovarian, colorectal, lung and uterine," said Liang. "Across the cancer types, the tumor subtypes revealed by pseudogene expression showed extensive and strong similarities with subtypes defined by other molecular data."

Liang believes that the study highlights the potential of pseudogene expression analysis as a new "gold standard" for investigating cancer mechanisms and discovering prognostic biomarkers. These biomarkers will allow medical experts to more accurately predict cancer survival rates.

"Pseudogene expression alone can accurately classify the major subtypes of endometrial cancer," said Liang. "Strikingly, in kidney cancer, the pseudogene expression subtypes not only significantly correlate with patient survival, but also help stratify patients in combination with clinical variables."

###

Other collaborating institutions included Baylor College of Medicine and, The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health, both in Houston.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (CA143883, CA016672), the NIH/MD Anderson Uterine SPORE Career Development Award, and the Lorraine Dell Program in Bioinformatics for Personalization of Cancer Medicine funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

Ron Gilmore | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

Further reports about: Bioinformatics Cancer Genome Health Medicine biomarkers genomic subtypes

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision
23.09.2016 | Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)

nachricht Self-assembled nanostructures hit their target
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.

In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...

Im Focus: New laser joining technologies at ‘K 2016’ trade fair

Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.

K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

ICPE in Graz for the seventh time

20.09.2016 | Event News

Using mathematical models to understand our brain

16.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision

23.09.2016 | Life Sciences

New leukemia treatment offers hope

23.09.2016 | Health and Medicine

Self-assembled nanostructures hit their target

23.09.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>