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!
Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society
127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences