Gene variant may provide novel therapy for several cancer types

Gene variant may provide novel therapy for several cancer types

A novel gene variant found in human and animal tissue may be a promising treatment for cancer, including breast and brain cancer.

via ScienceDaily: Top Science News:

June 6, 2013 — A novel gene variant found in human and animal tissue may be a promising treatment for cancer, including breast and brain cancer, according to scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The variant, called PTEN-long, may contribute to a cell’s healthy function and also suppress tumor cell development.This landmark study is published in the June 6, 2013 issue of the journal Science.Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Oncological Sciences led the team that discovered a mutation in the tumor suppressor gene PTEN, which has subsequently been recognized as the second most common mutation in cancer, especially in breast, prostate, and brain cancers. PTEN encodes a 403 amino acid lipid phosphatase protein that is critical to cellular growth, proliferation, and survival. Genetic inactivation of PTEN causes tumor development.In the current study, Dr. Parsons and his team analyzed human cells and discovered a PTEN variant that has an additional protein sequence and is 43 percent longer than normal PTEN. They called this new variant PTEN-Long. Like PTEN, the long form has the same enzymatic activity, but unlike PTEN, it is secreted by the cell and can enter other cells, indicating that the added protein sequence acts as a delivery system for the tumor suppressor gene.”This study culminates more than a decade of research that began soon after we learned the therapeutic potential of PTEN and the PI3K pathway,” said Dr. Parsons. “We are excited about the potential of PTEN-Long as a therapy for multiple cancer types.”Using human breast and brain tumor cells that lacked PTEN and PTEN-Long, the research team introduced and overexpressed PTEN-Long and PTEN into the cells. They found that, similar to PTEN, PTEN-Long decreased the signaling activity on the PI3K pathway, thus reducing cellular proliferation. …

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ScienceDaily: Top Science News

Gene variant may provide novel therapy for several cancer types

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