Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
RNAi
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Tanning Gene Linked to Increased Risk of Testicular Cancer

Published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A study from the NIH and the University of Oxford has found a gene important in skin tanning has been linked to higher risk for testicular cancer in white men.

Nearly 80 percent of white men carry a variant form of this gene, which increased risk of testicular cancer up to threefold in the study.

The research appeared online October 10, 2013 in the journal Cell, and is the result of an integrated analysis of big data supported by laboratory research. The team suspected that variations in a gene pathway controlled by the tumor suppressor gene p53 could have both positive and negative effects on human health.

 “Gene variations occur naturally, and may become common in a population if they convey a health benefit,” said Douglas Bell, Ph.D., author on the paper and researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH. “It appears that this particular variant could help protect light-skinned individuals from UV skin damage, like burning or cancer, by promoting the tanning process, but it permits testicular stem cells to grow in the presence of DNA damage, when they are supposed to stop growing.”

Bell explained that p53 stimulates skin tanning when ultraviolet light activates it in the skin. It then must bind a specific sequence of DNA located in a gene called the KIT ligand oncogene (KITLG), which stimulates melanocyte production, causing the skin to tan.

To conduct the analysis, Xuting Wang, Ph.D., of NIEHS, co-author and lead bioinformatics scientist on the paper, led a data mining expedition to sieve through many different data sets. The team selected possible leads from the intersection of more than 20,000 p53 binding sites in the human genome, 10 million inherited genetic variations genotyped in the 1000 Genomes Project, and 62,000 genetic variations associated with human cancers identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). These data sets were gathered through joint efforts of thousands of researchers from around the world.

“In the end, one variant in the p53 pathway was strongly associated with testicular cancer, but also, surprisingly, displayed a positive benefit that is probably related to tanning that has occurred as humans evolved. Wang noted.

The group at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Oxford, led by Gareth Bond, Ph.D., performed complex experiments to confirm the molecular mechanism that linked the variant with cancer and tanning.

“White males with a single nucleotide variation in KITLG, called the G allele, have the highest odds of having testicular cancer. In fact, the twofold to threefold increased risk is one of the highest and most significant among all cancer GWAS conducted within the past few years,” said Bond. “The high frequency of this allele in light skin individuals may explain why testicular cancer is so much more frequent in people of European descent than those of African descent.”

Bond said although the G allele increases testicular cancer risk, it may explain why testicular tumors are often easily cured with chemotherapy. “Most other tumors have a mutant p53, but in these testicular cell tumors, the p53 is functioning properly, and the drugs used for testicular cancer appear to work in concert with p53’s tumor suppression function to kill the cancer cells.”


Further Information
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 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ 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

Cellular Factors that Shape the 3D Landscape of the Genome Identified
Researchers have identified 50 cellular factors required for the proper 3D positioning of genes by using novel large-scale imaging technology.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Tell-tale Biomarker Detects Early Breast Cancer in NIH-funded Study
The study published online in the issue of Nature Communications.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Study Shows Promise of Precision Medicine for Most Common Type of Lymphoma
The study appeared online July 20, 2015, in Nature Medicine.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Potential Therapeutic for Blinding Eye Disease
NIH research points to microglia as potential therapeutic target in retinitis pigmentosa.
Thursday, July 02, 2015
NCI-MATCH Trial will Link Targeted Cancer Drugs to Gene Abnormalities
Precision medicine trial will open to patient enrollment in July.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Linking Targeted Cancer Drugs to Gene Abnormalities
Investigators at the NIH have announced a series of clinical trials that will study drugs or drug combinations that target specific genetic mutations.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Lipid Nanoparticle Therapeutic Treats Ebola in Monkeys
A newly designed agent was effective in treating monkeys infected with a deadly Ebola virus strain.
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Possible Treatment for Lethal Pediatric Brain Cancer
NIH-funded preclinical study suggests epigenetic drugs may be used to treat leading cause of pediatric brain cancer death.
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
NIH Study Finds Genetic Link for Rare Intestinal Cancer
Researchers recommend screening for people with family history.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Novel Approach Gives Insights Into Tumor Development
Scientists used a powerful new technique to turn off all the genes in mouse lung cancer cells and test how they affect tumor growth and metastasis.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Strengthening the Immune System’s Fight Against Brain Cancer
NIH-funded research suggests novel way to improve vaccine efficacy in brain tumors.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Range of Molecular Alterations in Head and Neck Cancers Uncovered
TCGA tumor genome sequencing analyses offer new insights into the effects of HPV and smoking, and find genomic similarities with other cancers.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
NIH Researchers Tackle Thorny Side of Gene Therapy
Pre-clinical studies in mice reveal ways to reduce cancer risk with modified treatment.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
NIH Exceptional Responders to Cancer Therapy Study Launched
Study to investigate the molecular factors of tumors associated with exceptional treatment responses of cancer patients to drug therapies.
Friday, September 26, 2014
NIH Announces the Launch of 3 Integrated Precision Medicine Trials
ALCHEMIST is for patients with certain types of early-stage lung cancer.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Scientific News
Microscopic Fish are 3D-Printed to do More Than Swim
Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities.
Inciting an Immune Attack on Cancer Cells
A new minimally invasive vaccine that combines cancer cells and immune-enhancing factors could be used clinically to launch a destructive attack on tumors.
Reprogramming Cancer Cells
Researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have discovered a way to potentially reprogram cancer cells back to normalcy.
New Strategy for Combating Adenoviruses
Using an animal model they developed, Saint Louis University and Utah State university researchers have identified a strategy that could keep a common group of viruses called adenoviruses from replicating and causing sickness in humans.
Surprising Mechanism Behind Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Uncovered
Now, scientists at TSRI have discovered that the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, develops resistance to this drug by “switching on” a previously uncharacterized set of genes.
Fat in the Family?
Study could lead to therapeutics that boost metabolism.
Imaging Software Could Speed Up Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Researchers use high speed optical microscopy of intact breast tissue specimens to analyze breast tissue.
A Metabolic Master Switch Underlying Human Obesity
Researchers find pathway that controls metabolism by prompting fat cells to store or burn fat.
Synthetic DNA Vaccine Against MERS Shows Promise
A novel synthetic DNA vaccine can, for the first time, induce protective immunity against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in animal species.
How Small RNA Helps Form Memories
In a new study, a team of scientists at Scripps Florida has found that a type of genetic material called "microRNA" (miRNA) plays surprisingly different roles in the formation of memory in animal models.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!