Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lurking lung cancer alleles

01.06.2006
Researchers identify common sequence differences in human DNA that confer genetic susceptibility to lung cancer

In the largest genome-wide scan for lung cancer-susceptibility genes to date, scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research have identified 64 gene variants that may predispose some individuals to lung cancer. These genetic variants are known as "low-penetrance alleles" because they only occasionally stimulate tumor development. The study, which appears today in the scientific journal Genome Research, will eventually help researchers to pinpoint the various genetic and environmental causes of lung cancer.

As the most common malignancy in the world, lung cancer is predominantly caused by a single environmental factor: tobacco smoke. Studies have shown that long-term cigarette smokers have a 10-fold increased risk of acquiring lung cancer when compared to non-smokers. But in recent years, scientists have accumulated evidence that hereditary factors also contribute to lung cancer susceptibility. For example, a higher prevalence of the disease has been observed in patients with Bloom’s and Werner’s syndromes, who have inherited mutations in specific genes that are involved in DNA replication, recombination, and repair.

"Our research suggests that it is highly unlikely that only one or two genes are primarily responsible for the genetic basis of lung cancer," explains Dr. Richard Houlston from The Institute of Cancer Research and Cancer Research UK, who co-led the study with Dr. Tim Eisen from The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. "The exact nature of lung cancer susceptibility is probably much more complex. We hypothesized that most of the inherited genetic risk is posed by sequence changes in the genome that augment the effects of exposure to cigarette smoke."

As part of the U.K.-based Genetic Lung Cancer Predisposition Study (GELCAPS), the researchers tested DNA samples from 2707 healthy individuals and 1529 lung cancer patients. In each of these samples, they evaluated a total 1476 DNA variants known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 871 genes with a presumptive role in cancer biology.

In total, 64 of the SNPs were found to be associated with lung cancer development. Several of these SNPs alter the structure or function of an expressed protein, so it is possible that they are directly responsible for the observed association. Additional research will be required to understand the exact role that each of these genetic variants plays in increasing one’s risk of lung cancer.

"Whilst our research indicates that certain individuals could be at higher risk of developing the disease, it has been proven that the majority of cases of lung cancer are caused by tobacco smoke. It’s important to remember that tobacco smoke is far and away the biggest risk factor for lung cancer," warns Houlston.

Maria Smit | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

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 the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>