Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Bacterial DNA May Integrate Into Human Genome More Readily in Tumor Tissue

Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, June 27, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Gene transfer may play role in cancer, other diseases linked with DNA damage.

Bacterial DNA may integrate into the human genome more readily in tumors than in normal human tissue, scientists have found.

The researchers, affiliated with the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute for Genome Sciences, analyzed genomic sequencing data available from the Human Genome Project, the 1,000 Genomes Project and The Cancer Genome Atlas.

They considered the phenomenon of lateral gene transfer (LGT), the transmission of genetic material between organisms in a manner other than than traditional reproduction.

Scientists have already shown that bacteria can transfer DNA to the genome of an animal.

The researchers found evidence that lateral gene transfer is possible from bacteria to the cells of the human body, known as human somatic cells.

They found that bacterial DNA was more likely to integrate in the genome in tumor samples than in normal, healthy somatic cells. The phenomenon might play a role in cancer and other diseases associated with DNA damage.

"Advances in genomic and computational sciences are revealing the vast ways in which humans interact with an ever-present and endlessly diverse planet of microbes," says Matt Kane, program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Environmental Biology in its Directorate for Biological Sciences, which funded the research.

"This discovery underscores the benefits that can result from a shift in our understanding of how this vast diversity of microbes and their genes may affect our health."

The results may lead to advances in personalized medicine, scientists say, in which doctors use each patient's genomic make-up to determine care and preventive measures.

A paper reporting the results is published today in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.

"LGT from bacteria to animals was only described recently, and it is exciting to find that such transfers can be found in the genome of human somatic cells and particularly in cancer genomes," says Julie Dunning Hotopp of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and lead author of the paper.

Hotopp also is a research scientist at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.

"Studies applying this approach to additional cancer genome projects could be fruitful, leading us to a better understanding of the mechanisms of cancer."

The researchers found that while only 63.5 percent of TCGA samples analyzed were from tumors, the tumor samples contained 99.9 percent of reads supporting bacterial integration.

The data present a compelling case that LGT occurs in the human somatic genome, and that it could have an important role in cancer and other human diseases associated with mutations.

It's possible that LGT mutations play a role in carcinogenesis, the scientists say, yet it's also possible that they could simply be "passenger mutations."

The investigators suggest several competing ideas to explain the results, though more research is needed for definitive answers.

One possibility is that the mutations are part of carcinogenesis, the process by which normal cells turn into cancer cells.

Alternatively, tumor cells are very rapidly proliferating, so much so that they may be more permissive to lateral gene transfer.

It's also possible that bacteria are causing these mutations because they benefit the bacteria themselves.

The study was also funded by the National Institutes of Health.


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 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,800+ 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

Antibacterial Properties of Clay Discovered
May be new answer to MRSA, other 'superbug' infections.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Investigating the Southern Ocean's Appetite for Carbon
ORCAS field campaign will help scientists predict future climate.
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Blueprint for the Affordable Genome
Stampede supercomputer powers innovations in DNA sequencing technologies.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Tailoring Disease Screening Programs to Individuals
To address the current one size fits all approach a NSF-funded scientist has developed a computer algorithm that will allow women to reach a decision customized for them.
Friday, March 21, 2014
'Smuggling' Drugs at the Cellular Level
Drexel researchers use ultrasound to deliver customized medication through the skin.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Identifying the Pathway that Leads to Cells Forming into an Individual Body
By studying how genes influence cells to migrate and mutate, scientist hopes findings will lead to improved cancer treatments.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Nanogrid, Activated by Sunlight, Breaks Down Pollutants in Water
Oil spills do untold damage to the environment, the waters they pollute and to marine and other wildlife.
Monday, November 11, 2013
One Day, we May Fill the Tank with Fungi Fuel!
Plant fungi and bacteria called "endophytes" fueling breakthroughs in energy, medicine and more.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Understanding how our Genes Help us Develop
Humans and fruit flies have similar Hox genes, which are master regulators of embryonic development.
Monday, September 16, 2013
US and UK Scientists Collaborate to Design Crops of the Future
Three Ideas Lab projects and a fourth NSF-sponsored project aim to transform future farming while reducing pollution and energy consumption.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Cactus "Flesh" Cleans Up Toxic Water
Prickly pear cacti may be natural, cheaper answer to water cleanup.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Genomic and Computational Tools Provide Window to Distant Past
Researcher studies gene differences in humans and other species to better understand timeline of genetic changes.
Friday, August 09, 2013
GWC Technologies Awarded NSF Grant to Develop novel Protein Microarray Products
Grant accelerates development of the company’s Carbon-on-Metal technology for protein array analysis.
Friday, July 03, 2009
NSF Awards $14M to Advance Plant Genomic Research
Resources to be developed include genomic sequences, genetic markers, maps and expressed sequence collections.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Nanoethics Researchers Awarded $250,000 from National Science Foundation
Three-year project to study ethics of human enhancement and nanotechnology.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
Flu Vaccine May Reduce Risk of Death For Type 2 Diabetes Patients
Researchers at Imperial College London have suggested that the vaccine may have substantial benefits for patients with long-term conditions.
Cancer Gene-Drug Combinations Ripe for Precision Medicine
The study aims to expand the number of cancer gene mutations that can be paired with a precision therapy.
Porphyrins as Catalysts in Scalable Organic Reactions
This review covers the most relevant scalable porphyrin-catalysed procedures, showing how these compounds represent broad applications in chemistry.
CDC Updates Zika Recommendations
CDC has issued updated Zika recommendations and guidance for healthcare providers with a focus on sexual transmission.
Exploiting Malaria’s Achilles’ Heel
Researchers have uncovered an Achilles' heel in malaria's anti-drug treatment arsenal that could lead to a disease cure.
Genome of 6000-Year-Old Barley Sequenced
Researchers have successfully sequenced the genome of Chalcolithic barley grains for the first time.
3D Models May Yield Ovarian Cancer Insights
Researchers are developing new tools to decipher ovarian cancer developments through a 3D printing technology.
Targeting BRAF Mutations in Thyroid Cancer
Treating metastatic thyroid cancer patients harboring a BRAF mutation with vemurafenib showed anti-tumor activity in a third of patients.
Plant Compounds Fight Together Against Colon Cancer
Research shows treating colon cancer cells with curcumin, then silymarin is more effective than treatment with each individually.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

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
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!