Variant of vitamin D receptor gene linked to melanoma risk
A new analysis indicates an association between a gene involved in vitamin D metabolism and skin cancer. Published in the November 1, 2008 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study suggests that individuals with certain variants in a vitamin D-related gene, called BsmI, may be at an increased risk of developing melanoma.
Research has shown that vitamin D in the body has significant protective effects against the development of cancer because it regulates cell growth, cell differentiation and cell death. This is supported by evidence that sun exposure, which helps in the production of vitamin D, can have anticancer effects.
Vitamin D exerts its effects by binding to a receptor located within cells. Because there are genetic differences in this vitamin D receptor among individuals, investigators suspect that different people have different levels of vitamin D activity within their bodies. Therefore, some individuals may naturally be able to achieve more vitamin D-related protection against cancer than others. However, study results on this topic have been conflicting, and no review of the available data has been performed to date.
To address this issue, Dr. Simone Mocellin and Dr. Donato Nitti of the University of Padova in Italy examined the existing research investigating the association between common variants in the vitamin D receptor and the risk of melanoma. The analysis revealed a significant association between melanoma risk and the BsmI gene.
The researchers note that additional research is needed to validate this link, and called for well-designed, population-based, large, multi-institutional studies to test whether any vitamin D receptor variant is independently associated with melanoma risk.
"These findings prompt further investigation on this subject and indirectly support the hypothesis that sun exposure might have an anti-melanoma effect through activation of the vitamin D system," the authors wrote.
David Sampson | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
New technique promises tunable laser devices
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...