Arizona Biosciences News

TGen finds mutation linked to prostate cancer

Summary:

While investigating tumor-suppressant gene mechanisms, researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute helped discover a gene they believe is linked to prostate cancer. The finding appears in the latest issue of Nature Genetics.

Full Story:

While investigating tumor-suppressant gene mechanisms, researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute helped discover a gene they believe is linked to prostate cancer.

The gene, called EphB2, has receptor proteins that are critical in human tissue regulation. Until this latest discovery by TGen researchers and their international colleagues, published in this month's issue of Nature Genetics, abnormalities in EphB2 had not been linked to cancer. But this time around, scientists found that the gene was inactivated in prostate cancer patients.

"This work reveals a new mechanism by which cancer cells can evade normal tissue architecture, which is a hallmark of tumor development," said Dr. Bert Vogelstein, a Howard Hughes researcher at Johns Hopkins University. Scientists are hopeful that this greater understanding of tissue regulation by EphB2 will help not only in developing diagnostics and therapies for prostate cancer, but in other cancer research, too.

The TGen researchers, led Dr. Spyro Mousses, head of TGen's Cancer Drug Development Laboratory and the paper's senior author, were just one contingent of an international collaboration investigating this gene. Eight other research institutions participated in the find, including groups from Finland, Canada, and Switzerland.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in American men. Experts estimate that over 230,000 new U.S. cases will be diagnosed in 2004.


For more information:

TGen news release, 08/08/2004

Advance online publication, Nature Genetics, 08/08/04