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News Gene vital in suppressing blood cell cancer found

Article in 'News' Written by Arul Prakash Published Nov 19, 2013

  1. Researchers from University of Adelaide have found a gene that is vital in suppressing lymphoma ( blood cell cancer ).

    Apoptosis, a process that governs the destruction of cells is important in preventing cancerous cell growth. In a study published in the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Sharad Kumar, Co-Director at Centre for Cancer Biology and his team related the caspase-2 gene to Apoptosis.

    Professor Sharad Kumar discovered the Caspase-2 almost 20 years ago. Since its discovery Prof Kumar and his team have been researching to find the mechanism behind cellular death to determine whether a cell dies or lives. In-order to prevent cancer and other harmful diseases it is important to maintain cell growth and destroy cells that are damaged.

    "Cell death and survival are controlled by a large number of genes, and aberrations in these genes are often linked to diseases. For example, an inability for cells to evade apoptosis is a well-known hallmark of cancer," he says

    capase-gene.
    Image: Shows Capase function in apoptosis and cancer cell death. EμMyc/Caspase-2-/- tumour cells exhibit telomere loss. (A) Telomere FISH of metaphase spreads from EμMyc or EμMyc/Caspase-2-/- lymphoma cells. Arrows indicate chromosomes with loss of telomere staining. Inset images show higher magnification of chromosomes. (B) Quantitation of the percentage chromosomes per cell with absent telomeres. Data are presented as mean ± SEM. * indicates p<0.05.


    "It does this by ensuring that cells predisposed to cancer maintain a healthy number of chromosomes," he says. "By some unknown mechanism, caspase-2 appears to prevent cells from losing and gaining copies of the chromosomes, which is a trait frequently observed in tumour cells."

    "This research not only provides new information on the development of cancer, it also defines how caspase-2 can potentially work as a tumour suppressor gene. This is an exciting finding and one that we're already investigating further," he says.

    Further reading: Loss of caspase-2 augments lymphomagenesis and enhances genomic instability in Atm-deficient mice
    Joseph Puccini, Sonia Shalini, Anne K. Voss, Magtouf Gatei, Claire H. Wilson, Devendra K. Hiwase, Martin F. Lavin, Loretta Dorstyn, and Sharad Kumar
    • Arul Prakash

      Article by Arul Prakash

      Editor and founder of BiotechCareer.Org. He is an Industrial Biotechnologists and also a web developer, gooner, blogger, and foodie.

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