In experiments with mice genetically prone to develop polyps, researchers discovered that animals carrying one copy of the damaged gene, Atp5a1, had about 90 percent fewer polyps in the small intestine and colon. Because people with large numbers of such polyps are at significantly higher risk to develop colon cancer, the finding may provide new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat colon cancer, the scientists say. They report their findings March 22, 2007 online in the journal Genome Research.
The researchers, led by Arthur Buchberg, Ph.D., and Linda Siracusa, Ph.D., both associate professors of microbiology and immunology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, studied a type of mice called Min (multiple intestinal neoplasia). Such mice carry mutations in the Apc gene, which causes the development of intestinal tumors in mice. An alteration in the corresponding human gene, APC, is the first step in most cases of the development of colon polyps and the majority of colorectal cancers.
It turns out that Atp5a1, which is crucial for the cell’s energy production, is also a “modifier” gene. Modifier genes play roles in individual susceptibility to cancers. “Modifier genes alter a phenotype dictated by other genes,” explains Dr. Siracusa. “If a person inherits a mutation in the APC gene, a modifier gene can make that number of polyps – and tumors – either higher or lower, and can mean a person is more prone or resistant to developing polyps and tumors.”
In earlier work, the husband and wife team had identified the general region on the chromosome for the mutation. “Now, we’ve identified the gene and it’s very important – it encodes a subunit of the ATP synthase protein, which is known as the molecular motor in the mitochondria, and responsible for the production of ATP and energy in cells,” says Dr. Buchberg. They have dubbed Atp5a1 “Mom2,” for Modifier of Min 2 gene, having previously identified the first modifier of Min mice, Mom1.
“No one as far as we know has ever found a mutation in this gene,” says Dr. Siracusa, noting that both gene mutations – Apc and Atp5a1 – are on mouse chromosome 18. “If the other normal chromosome is lost for some reason, or mice have two copies of the mutant Atp5a1, they die in embryonic development, presumably because the cells lack an energy source.”
The corresponding human gene, ATP5A1, is also located on chromosome 18, in a region that sometimes shows genetic mutations in colon tumors.
Steve Benowitz | EurekAlert!
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences