Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New discovery explains how a common gene variant may increase cancer risks

21.03.2006


Roughly 15 percent of the population carries a gene variant that may increase the risk of developing cancer. The cause of this increased risk has been unknown until now. But now a research team at Stockholm University in Sweden can explain why.

“The variant makes the cell motor sputter and mutate, so cancer can arise,” says Associate Professor Thomas Helleday, who leads the research team at the Department of Genetics, Microbiology, and Toxicology, Stockholm University.

Even though it is easy to identify the some 15 percent of the population who have the harmful gene, which is called XRCC3 T241M, it is not meaningful to examine them since there are also other unknown factors that influence if this variant increases risk of cancer.



“On the other hand, we can possibly make use of the faulty variant to custom design new treatments in the future. And even if this doesn’t happen, it’s nevertheless important to understand the mechanisms that make certain individuals more susceptible to cancer than others,” he says.

Normally our genes have to be divided into two perfectly identical copies when a cell divides. The unfortunate variant causes a defect in the division of the genetic material (mitosis), which means that a daughter cell may get too few or too many genes. If a daughter cell does not receive a gene that prevents cancer, a so-called tumour suppressor gene, then a cancer can grow. One defence mechanism against cancer is for a cell that gets faulty genes to commit suicide (apoptosis). The defect caused by the unfortunate variant when it divides the genes is so tiny that the suicide mechanism does not detect the fault, which allows the cell to continue its growth into a cancer.

“The variant causes just a tiny defect that cannot be detected by the defence mechanisms against cancer. Just as in life, minute mistakes can lead to fatal consequences if they are not discovered,” says Thomas Helleday.

The main financiers of this research are the Swedish Pain Relief Foundation and the Swedish Cancer Society, and the findings are published in the April issue of the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

Maria Erlandsson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eks.su.se
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion
26.07.2017 | Penn State

nachricht New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
26.07.2017 | Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>