Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wake Forest-Johns Hopkins team discovers prostate cancer gene

16.09.2002


Scientists in the Center for Human Genomics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions have discovered a gene that "may play an important role in prostate cancer susceptibility in both African-American men and men of European descent."



The 31-member team reports in the October issue of Nature Genetics that mutations in the MSR1 (for Macrophage Scavenger Receptor 1) gene were found in 4.4 percent of Caucasians who had prostate cancer, compared to 0.8 percent who were found to be unaffected following prostate cancer screening. A different mutation of the gene was found in 12.5 percent of African-American men with prostate cancer, compared to 1.82 percent of unaffected men.

Both differences are highly significant statistically. "One of the mutations leads to prostate cancer that has rapid metastasis," said Jianfeng Xu, M.D., Dr. P.H., associate professor of both public health sciences (epidemiology) and cancer biology at Wake Forest.


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with more than 300,000 new cases diagnosed annually. The highest risk and the greatest mortality is among African-Americans.

Xu, Deborah A. Meyers, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics (medical genetics), S. Lilly Zheng, M.D., research assistant professor of internal medicine (pulmonary), and nine other Wake Forest researchers, said in their report, "We provide novel genetic evidence that MSR1 may play an important role in prostate cancer susceptibility." MSR1 was already known for its role in hardening of the arteries.

They said they had found seven potentially important mutations of the MSR1 gene -- including the rapidly metastasizing form that truncates (and makes dysfunctional) the MSR1 protein -- in families with hereditary prostate cancer. "Importantly, they were either not observed or observed less frequently in men without prostate cancer," they reported.

Just as there are a number of breast cancer genes, the MSR1 gene probably will turn out to be one of a number of genes linked to prostate cancer. However, MSR1 appears to be the strongest gene linked to inherited prostate cancer risk thus far, they said.

Working with William B. Isaacs, Ph.D., Patrick C. Walsh, M.D., and others at Johns Hopkins, the research team evaluated the role of MSR1 in a large number of subjects from multiple populations. They began with 159 patients from families that averaged five or more men with prostate cancer, evaluating samples of their DNA to look at the MSR1 gene, and they found eight mutations. They sought samples from all family members of these 159 patients.

Seven mutations were rare, showing up in a total of 13 families. Six of those families -- all of European descent -- had the rapidly metastasizing one they called Arg293X. Another four families, all African-Americans, had a variant called D174Y; five mutations were found in one family each. The eighth, a common variant, P275A, was found in 30 of the 159 families. Using various statistical analyses, they found links between these mutations and prostate cancer. Xu and Meyers began looking for other groups in the general population that had already been studied for other diseases, adding analysis of variants of the MSR1 gene. They looked at a group of 518 men who were studied for asbestos exposure, regardless of their prostate cancer status. They found the Arg293X variant seven times among 469 men of European descent.

"Interestingly, two of these carriers were among the 28 men in this group diagnosed with prostate cancer," they said.

When they analyzed 49 African-Americans in the asbestos study, they found two with the D174Y variant they already were tracking in their hereditary prostate cancer families; one of the two already had a high normal PSA test.

Since the gene is on a macrophage scavenger -- a white blood cell that goes after bacteria, cell fragments and even whole diseased cells --the Johns Hopkins team is studying the relationship between MSR1 and inflammation. They have data that suggests macrophages carrying variants in the MSR1 gene may not be able to fight infections as well as non-affected macrophages. That may explain the already suggested link between infection and prostate cancer.

Robert Conn | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Colorectal cancer: Increased life expectancy thanks to individualised therapies
20.02.2020 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Sweet beaks: What Galapagos finches and marine bacteria have in common
20.02.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für Marine Mikrobiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Journey to the center of Mars

20.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Laser writing enables practical flat optics and data storage in glass

20.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

New graphene-based metasurface capable of independent amplitude and phase control of light

20.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>