Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UT Southwestern research uncovers genetic link between emphysema, lung cancer

09.06.2011
A gene linked to emphysema also can be a factor for developing lung cancer unrelated to cigarette smoking, UT Southwestern Medical Center research indicates. Smoking was the only known risk factor previously associated with both diseases.

In the study, mice bred to have the human gene pleiomorphic adenoma gene-like 2 (PLAGL2) all developed emphysema, and by gender also developed lung cancer at rates as high as one in every six rodents. Although the new study showed PLAGL2 as a contributing factor in emphysema and lung cancer development, the diseases form in opposite ways. Emphysema arises from cell death or injury, while lung cancer involves uncontrolled cell growth.

"We think this gene induces emphysema by causing stem cells in the lung to die," said Dr. Jonathan Weissler, vice chairman of the department of medicine and chief of medicine at UT Southwestern University Hospital and senior author of the study, available online and due to be published in the journal Lung Cancer in October. "The cells that don't die through apoptosis would be more likely to have uncontrolled growth" and become cancerous, suggesting a genetic link between the diseases.

The gene is a known driver of several types of cancer. The degree to which PLAGL2 turns on, or is expressed, plays a role in cancer development. Previous research has demonstrated that female lung cancer patients with higher levels of gene expression had much poorer survival rates.

Increased PLAGL2 expression also aggravates emphysema. In 2009, Dr. Weissler and UT Southwestern colleagues found that high expression of this gene led to enlarged airways (alveoli) in mice. Female mice in particular were more prone to develop emphysema.

"The mice in that study developed the same type of emphysema seen in smokers despite the fact they were not exposed to cigarette smoke," said Dr. Weissler, director of the James M. Collins Center for Biomedical Research.

The new study revealed higher incidence of lung cancer in male mice. Of two PLAGL2 mice groups tested, lung cancer developed in 12.5 percent and 18.5 percent of male mice. The rate for female mice was zero and 3.7 percent.

In human cases, the association between these two diseases also is stronger in men. One study showed that about 10 percent of patients with severe emphysema – all men – also had lung cancer. The reasons for these gender differences are as yet unknown, although this information eventually could be used to help identify patients at risk for cancer.

"PLAGL2 expression could be used as a marker for cells that are at risk of undergoing malignant transformation," Dr. Weissler said.

Other researchers involved in the study were lead authors Dr. Yih-Sheng Yang and Dr. Meng-Chun Yang, both former assistant professors of internal medicine at UT Southwestern.

The study was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Will Rogers Institute and the Collins Center for Biomedical Research.

Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/cancer to learn more about UT Southwestern's clinical services in cancer.

This news release is available on our World Wide Web home page at www.utsouthwestern.edu/home/news/index.html

To automatically receive news releases from UT Southwestern via email, subscribe at www.utsouthwestern.edu/receivenews

Debbie Bolles | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement
26.06.2017 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

nachricht New insight into a central biological dogma on ion transport
26.06.2017 | Aarhus University

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 we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>