Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genotyping & Gene Expression
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

A*STAR Scientists Pinpoint Genetic Changes that Spell Cancer

Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Fruit flies light the way for scientists to uncover genetic changes.

By studying fruit flies, scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) have successfully devised a fast and cost-saving way to uncover genetic changes that have a higher potential to cause cancer.

With this new approach, researchers will now be able to rapidly distinguish the range of genetic changes that are causally linked to cancer (i.e. "driver" mutations) versus those with limited impact on cancer progression.

This research paves the way for doctors to design more targeted treatment against the different cancer types, based on the specific cancer-linked mutations present in the patient.

This study published in the prestigious journal Genes & Development could help advance the development of personalized medicine in cancer care and treatment.

The era of genomic sequencing has generated an unparalleled wealth of information on the complexity of genetic changes that occur as cancer develops and progresses.

"Many genetic changes arise in cancer cells and changes continue to accumulate during the progression of disease to metastatic cancer. The current challenge is to understand which of the many genetic changes are important drivers of disease progression" said Dr. Stephen Cohen, Principal Investigator at IMCB and team leader of this paper.

Though very different in many ways, fruit flies and humans share similarities in a remarkable two-thirds of their genomes. That is to say, many of the genes found in humans are also present in the flies.

Similarly, various signalling pathways involved in tumour formation are also well conserved from fruit flies to humans. In fact, previous studies have shown that about 75 percent of known human disease genes have a recognizable match in the genome of fruit flies.

Leveraging on their genetic similarities, Dr Hector Herranz, a post-doctorate from the Dr Cohen's team developed an innovative strategy to genetically screen the whole fly genome for "cooperating" cancer genes.

On their own, these are the genes that appear to be harmless and have little or no impact on cancer. But in fact, they cooperate with other cancer genes, so that the combination causes aggressive cancer, which neither would cause alone.

In this study, the team was specifically looking for genes that could cooperate with EGFR "driver" mutation, a genetic change commonly associated with breast and lung cancers in humans.

SOCS5, reported in this paper, is one of the several new "cooperating" cancer genes to be identified through this innovative approach. Most of these new-found genes have yet to be identified as cancer genes in human or mouse models.

Said Mr Xin Hong, a PhD student and the co-first author of this paper, "We were very surprised by our finding because this it the first time that the Socs gene family is found to be linked to cancer. Previously it has only been associated with immunological disorders."

Dr. Cohen added, "Though these studies are in the early stages, they are very promising. Already, there are indications that levels of SOCS5 expression are reduced in breast cancer, and patients with low levels of SOCS5 have poor prognosis."

The IMCB team is preparing to explore the use of SOCS5 as a biomarker in diagnosis for cancer.

Said Professor Wanjin Hong, Executive Director of IMCB, "This study sheds light on the complexities of cancer genetics and paves the way to accelerate development of personalized medicine in cancer care. It is a fine examples of how powerful genetic approach using the fly model can reveal molecular mechanisms underlying human cancer. More importantly, it shows how fundamental research can have far-reaching applications for potential clinical benefits."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Smart Material Hunts Cancers
Team has created smart material that locates and images cancer or tumour sites in tissue.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Colorful Nanoprobes Make A Simple Test
Gold nanoparticles linked to single-stranded DNA create a simple but versatile genetic testing kit.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
A*STAR Scientists Discover Potential Drug for Deadly Brain Cancer
This discovery can potentially prevent the progression and relapse of deadly brain tumours.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Singapore Scientists Identify New Biomarker for Cancer in Bone Marrow
This discovery may potentially cure patients of multiple myeloma.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Breakthroughs in Chikungunya Research Spell New Hope for Better Treatment and Protection
A*STAR's SIgN have made great strides in the battle against the infectious disease.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Discovery of the Cellular Origin of Cervical Cancer
A team of scientists have identified a unique set of cells in the cervix that are the cause of HPV related cervical cancers.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Scientific News
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
One Step Closer to Precision Medicine for Chronic Lung Disease Sufferers
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and National Jewish Health, has provided evidence of links between SNPs and known COPD blood protein biomarkers.
NCI Collaborates with Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
NCI collaborates with MMRF to incorporate genomic and clinical data into NCI Genomic Data Commons database.
Probe Identifies Schizophrenia Genes That Stunt Brain Development
Scientists have isolated schizophrenia-related gene variants that change gene expression in the brain.
CES Score May Predict Response to Cancer Treatment
Researchers identify new type of biomarker that helps predict prognosis and response to several types of cancer treatment.
Heart Arrhythmia Caused by Mosaic of Mutant Cells
Researchers have solved the genetic mystery of an infant suffering from heart arrhythmia.
New Therapeutic Target for Crohn’s Disease
A promising new target for drugs that treat IBD has been identified along with a possible biomarker for IBD severity.
Uncovering Water Bear Resilience
A protein identified in water bears can protect DNA of human cells from lethal doses of radiation damage.
Peer Reviewed Study Demonstrates Mass Spec Technique
The peer reviewed study demonstrates MS workflow, TMTCalibrator workflow, which dramatically enhances detection of key early stage Alzheimer’s biomarkers.
Smart Material Hunts Cancers
Team has created smart material that locates and images cancer or tumour sites in tissue.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!