Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Scientists Identify 13 new Tumor-Suppressor Genes in Liver Cancer
News Nov 24, 2008
Over the years, hunting for cancer-related genes and understanding how they work has been an important, although time-consuming, exercise. At Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), five different research groups have now combined their expertise to speed up the rate of discovering cancer-related genes and validating their function in living animals.
The result of the collaborative effort is a large-scale genetic screen that in a preliminary test succeeded in uncovering 13 new tumor suppressors – genes that inhibit the activity of cancer genes. Tumor suppressors are important in cancer development generally, and specifically in liver cancer, where they frequently have been found to be missing in people who develop the illness.
These discoveries, published online ahead of print on Nov.17 and scheduled to appear in the November 26 issue of Cell, “are a huge step forward in understanding the genetics of cancer and open up a host of new strategies to improve its diagnosis and treatment,” according to CSHL Professor Scott W. Lowe, Ph.D., the corresponding author of the study.
Other authors include Scott Powers, Ph.D., Director of the Human Cancer Genome Center at CSHL, and CSHL Professors Gregory J. Hannon, Ph.D., W. Richard McCombie, Ph.D., and Michael Wigler, Ph.D.
Previous work by the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (IMSGC) has identified 233 genetic risk variants. However, these only account for about 20% of overall disease risk, with the remaining genetic culprits proving elusive. A new study has tracked down four of these hard-to-find genes.READ MORE