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 New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>