Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover new breast cancer gene

27.03.2003


Scientists at Tularik Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRK) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have discovered a new gene that is expressed at abnormally high levels in nearly 50% of the breast cancer specimens they examined, and is similarly overexpressed in a large proportion of lung cancers (35%).



The discovery of the gene, called KCNK9, is significant for several reasons:

1) KCNK9 reveals a previously unrecognized mechanism for oncogene action (namely, potassium channels).


2) KCNK9 is an attractive target for the development of novel cancer therapies.

3) The experimental overproduction of KCNK9 promotes tumor formation in controlled functional tests. This finding supports the notion that the overexpression of KCNK9 observed in breast and lung tumor biopsies plays a bona fide role in these cancers.

The study is also significant because it focussed on sporadic or non-heritable forms of breast cancer. Sporadic disease accounts for greater than 90% of all breast and other cancers, in contrast to heritable forms of cancer, which account for a relatively small percentage of the disease.

The study is published in the March 2003 issue of Cancer Cell and was funded in part by 1 in 9: The Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition. A copy of the study and illustrations are available on request.

The principle investigator is Scott Powers (Tularik Inc. Genomics Division and Adjunct Faculty member at CSHL). Other key contributors were the lead author David Mu of Tularik, and Michael Wigler, W. Richard McCombie, Scott Lowe, and their colleagues at CSHL.

The scientists used a gene discovery method pioneered by Michael Wigler and his colleagues at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (called Representational Difference Analysis or RDA) to detect the differences between the DNA of normal cells and breast tumors--differences that might contribute to tumor formation. This analysis identified a small region (550 kb) of human chromosome 8 that was specifically amplified in the DNA of breast tumors.

The researchers used a variety of criteria to determine that the KCNK9 gene, one of only two genes in this region of chromosome 8, plays a role in cancer. Expression of the KCNK9 gene was increased at least five-fold and up to over 100-fold above normal levels in 28 out of 64 breast cancer specimens (44%), and in 35% of lung cancer specimens examined. In contrast, expression of the KCNK9 gene was not elevated in any of the normal tissue specimens examined.

To test whether increasing KCNK9 gene expression was sufficient to trigger cells to grow in a cancerous fashion, the scientists engineered cultured cells to produce increased levels of the KCNK9 protein. Then they examined whether such cells formed tumors when injected into mice more readily than when cells with normal levels of KCNK9 protein were injected into mice.

The results were clear: Tumors formed in 3 out of 5 mice within three months after they were injected with cells overexpressing KCNK9. In contrast, none of 5 mice injected with cells expressing normal levels of KCNK9 formed tumors.

This finding indicated that elevated KCNK9 levels are sufficient to trigger the cancerous growth of at least some cell types.

Dr. Wigler has previously used the RDA gene discovery method to identify a number of genes associated with sporadic breast cancer, including the tumor suppressors PTEN and DBC2. KCNK9 is the first oncogene to be unambiguously identified by using RDA, and may play a major role in the development of breast, lung, and other cancers.

Annual U.S. morbidity and mortality due to breast cancer are 200,000 and 40,000 people, respectively.

Peter Sherwood | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Custom-tailored strategy against glioblastomas
26.09.2016 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New leukemia treatment offers hope
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.

In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

ICPE in Graz for the seventh time

20.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New switch decides between genome repair and death of cells

27.09.2016 | Life Sciences

Nanotechnology for energy materials: Electrodes like leaf veins

27.09.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

‘Missing link’ found in the development of bioelectronic medicines

27.09.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>