Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New pathway provides more clues about BRCA1 role in breast cancer

17.01.2008
A breast cancer gene's newly discovered role in repairing damaged DNA may help explain why women who inherit a mutated copy of the gene are at increased risk for developing both breast and ovarian cancer.

The discovery also could lead to more effective therapies for women with and without mutated copies of the BRCA1 gene, according to a study led by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

“Since it was discovered in 1994, BRCA1 and its role in preventing and causing cancer has been intensely studied, and our research represents an important piece of the puzzle,” said Craig Bennett, Ph.D., a researcher in Duke’s Department of Surgery and lead investigator on this study. “This study has identified an important mechanism by which BRCA1 comes into play when DNA -- the basis for all cell function -- is damaged. We have shown that this theory holds up not just in scientific models but in human breast cancer cells as well.”

The findings appear in the January 16, 2008 online edition of the journal PLoS ONE. The study was funded by the United States Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health and the Italian Association for Research on Cancer.

... more about:
»BRCA1 »DNA »developing »mutated »pathway

The researchers first looked at yeast to demonstrate that a molecular pathway that is particularly susceptible to BRCA1 influence is also crucial to normal cell function.

“The BRCA1 pathway we discovered is directly involved with the critical process of transcription, in which RNA acts as a messenger between DNA and the making of proteins," Bennett said.

DNA damage is a normal result of exposure to environmental agents, such as carcinogens, and the response to this damage can be influenced by other normal human processes such as aging and hormonal changes, Bennett said. It's what happens to RNA transcription after damage occurs in DNA that is BRCA1-dependent.

“We found that BRCA1 acts together with transcription to detect DNA damage and to signal the cell to repair itself,” Bennett said. “When BRCA1 does not function correctly, as when it is mutated, DNA damage remains un-repaired and cancer can occur.”

The researchers applied their findings in yeast to human breast cancer cells, with the same results.

“The fact that we were able to duplicate our results in human breast cancer cells is hugely important,” said Bennett. “Yeast is a wonderful model organism that has been used to make significant discoveries in many areas of science and medicine, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, but the ability to replicate results in human cells is key.”

Bennett said the discovery will lay the groundwork for further investigation of the role of BRCA1 and possibly lead to new therapeutic strategies targeting the genes or protein products within this pathway.

Women who have inherited a BRCA1 mutation have up to an 80 percent risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, and they are also at risk for developing the disease at much younger ages than women without the mutation, according to the American Cancer Society. Their risk for developing ovarian cancer is about 40 to 50 percent, compared to just over one percent for the general population. The mutation is most often found in women with Eastern European Jewish origin, but can be found in women of any race.

“Someday we hope that this research will lead to the development of more effective ways to treat both the women who have inherited a mutated copy of the BRCA1 gene and those who have not,” Bennett said.

Lauren Shaftel Williams | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

Further reports about: BRCA1 DNA developing mutated pathway

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

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)...

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

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>