Tags: Cancer | cancer | gene | therapy

Gene Linked to Half of Cancers Holds Key to New Therapies

Gene Linked to Half of Cancers Holds Key to New Therapies
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 January 2016 04:10 PM

A gene linked to half of all cancers may hold the key to future gene-therapy treatments, according to new research by scientists from the Wistar Institute.

The work centers on the so-called p53 gene — found in more than half of all cancers — which is suppressed in order for a cancer to grow and spread.

But the new research shows P53 does not act alone in its protection of our genetic information. Telomeres — proteins that cap off and protect our DNA at the tips of chromosomes like clear tips of shoelaces — also offering similar benefits as p53 in suppressing cancer.

What’s more, the two work together to fend off cancer, with the p53 gene able to suppress accumulated DNA damage at telomeres, according to the Wistar researchers.

The findings, published in the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Journal, point the way to new therapeutic approaches to treating cancer that boost the joint actions of the p53 gene and telomeres, the researchers said.

"We believed that p53 may be responsible for a more direct protective effect in telomeres," said lead researcher Paul Lieberman.

"This work [provides an] additional framework for just how important this gene is in protecting us from cancer."

This study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.

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A gene linked to half of all cancers may hold the key to new gene-therapy treatments, according to new research by scientists from the Wistar Institute.
cancer, gene, therapy
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2016-10-27
Wednesday, 27 January 2016 04:10 PM
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