FOXO1a caused death of tumor cells in laboratory study by triggering expression of caspase-3, which blocks cell division and causes cells to undergo apoptosis, according to St. Jude.
The loss of function of a gene called FOXO1a plays an important role in the development of the most common cancer of soft tissues in children, and restoring the function of that gene in cancer cells suppresses that cancer, according to investigators at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital. The cancer, called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS), arises from immature skeletal muscle cells that remain partially differentiated (do not acquire all the characteristics of a mature muscle cell).
The St. Jude team found that the expression of FOXO1a is suppressed in ARMS and that the gene potently suppresses tumor activity when re-introduced into ARMS tumor cells in the laboratory. Therefore, the investigators theorize that the observed loss of FOXO1a activity is a pivotal step in the ARMS development. The FOXO1a gene produces the protein FOXO1a. Gene expression refers to the production of the protein coded for by a particular gene. A report on these findings appears in the September 12 issue of Journal of Cell Biology.
Kelly Perry | EurekAlert!
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