Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rearrangements of multifunctional genes cause cancer in children and young people

11.03.2009
A doctoral thesis presented at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that three genes that lie behind a number of malignant tumour diseases are normally involved in several fundamental processes in the cell. This may be the reason that the tumours arise early in life and principally affect children and young people.

A family of genes known as the "FET" genes has been investigated in the work presented in the thesis. This family contains three genes that are found in modified forms in several malignant soft-tissue tumours and several forms of leukaemia.

The FET genes are found in these tumours in the form of what are known as "fusion genes" in which parts of two different genes have merged to form one gene. Fusion genes are translated into abnormal fusion proteins, which can in certain cases transform normal cells to cancer cells.

The human body consists of many different types of specialised cell types such as nerve cells, fat cells and intestinal cells. These are formed when stem cells multiply and mature gradually along different developmental pathways. Cancer may arise if something goes wrong in this process. The study has shown that the activities of the genes in the FET family fall as the cells mature, and scientists therefore believe that these genes play a role during the early stages of cell maturation, when the cells are not far from the stem cell stage. The normal maturation pathway of a cell becomes blocked when fusion genes that contain FET genes arise. The result is a cancer cell with properties similar to those of stem cells, and such a cell can multiply in an uncontrolled manner.

"We found that the FET genes are also involved in the response of the cell to external and internal stress, and when cells spread. Alterations of such processes are common in cancer cells", says Mattias Andersson.

It normally requires damage to several different genes before cancer cells develop, and this usually takes a long time. However, since the FET genes are involved in several of the normal cell processes, scientists believe that in their rearranged form they can affect in parallel several of the control systems that prevent a normal cell from becoming a cancer cell. This may give rise to rapid development of cancer, and it may be the reason that tumours with FET fusion genes are often found in children and young people.

"Studying normal FET genes has increased our understanding of what may go wrong in cancer cells having rearrangements of these genes. This may in the long term lead to new methods of treatment for tumour diseases that contain FET fusion genes", says Mattias Andersson.

The thesis has been written by:
Mattias Andersson, MSc, telephone: +46 31 342 2928, e-mail: mattias.andersson@llcr.med.gu.se
Supervisor:
Professor Pierre Åman, telephone: +46 31 342 2842, e-mail: pierre.aman@llcr.med.gu.se
A thesis presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) at the Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Biomedicine.
Title of the thesis: FET proteins in cancer and development
The thesis will be defended on Friday 6 March, at 9.00, in the lecture theatre, Patologen, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Ehrenströmsgatan 1, Göteborg, Sweden
Ulrika Lundin, Public relations officer, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Telephone: +46 31 786 3869, Mobile: +46 70 775 8851

e-mail: ulrika.lundin@sahlgrenska.gu.se

The Sahlgrenska Academy is the faculty of health sciences at the University of Gothenburg. Education and research are conducted within the fields of medicine, odontology and health care sciences. About 4000 undergraduate students and 1000 postgraduate students are enrolled at Sahlgrenska Academy. The staff is about 1500 persons. 850 of them are researchers and/or teachers.

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/19064
http://www.gu.se/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>