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 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.
Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences