Looping genes may hold a key to understanding breast cancer

Apr 09, 2008

Another piece of the puzzle that is breast cancer has been found by University of Queensland researchers.

Dr Melissa Brown, from UQ's School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, and her team have discovered how a particular gene associated with breast cancer behaves, which may lead to better testing for the debilitating disease.

Dr Brown and Dr Juliet French at UQ, together with their colleagues at The University of Oxford, studied the BRCA1 gene and found that it exists in a looped formation.

“Our studies suggest that BRCA1 looks a bit like a bow when the gene is switched off, and that part of this ‘bow' disappears when the gene is switched on,” Dr Brown said.

“Interestingly, the shape of the bow changes in different breast cancer cells, raising the possibility that this gene looping may contribute to the cancer process.”

She said ongoing studies would identify the specific DNA sequences and DNA binding molecules involved in BRCA1 gene looping.

“The status of these sequences in a larger cohort of breast cancer patients will also be determined,” she said.

“This information may lead to more sensitive pre-symptomatic testing for breast cancer and the identification of new therapeutic targets.”

Source: Research Australia

Explore further: Study pinpoints microRNA tied to colon cancer tumor growth

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Team makes scientific history with new cellular connection

Sep 11, 2014

Researchers led by Dr. Helen McNeill at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute have revealed an exciting and unusual biochemical connection. Their discovery has implications for diseases linked to mitochondria, ...

Deploying exosomes to win a battle of the sexes

Aug 25, 2014

There are many biological tools that help animals ensure reproductive success. A new study in The Journal of Cell Biology provides further detail into how one such mechanism enables male fruit flies to imp ...

Inside the cell, an ocean of buffeting waves

Aug 14, 2014

Conventional wisdom holds that the cytoplasm of mammalian cells is a viscous fluid, with organelles and proteins suspended within it, jiggling against one another and drifting at random. However, a new biophysical ...

Advancing medicine, layer by layer

Jul 02, 2014

Personalized cancer treatments and better bone implants could grow from techniques demonstrated by graduate students Stephen W. Morton and Nisarg J. Shah, who are both working in chemical engineering professor ...

Recommended for you

Study pinpoints microRNA tied to colon cancer tumor growth

4 hours ago

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified microRNAs that may cause colon polyps from turning cancerous. The finding could help physicians provide more specialized, and earlier, treatment before colon cancer ...

Obesity tied to higher cancer risk for CRC survivors

6 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Colorectal cancer (CRC) patients who are overweight or obese when diagnosed appear to face a slightly higher risk for developing a second weight-related cancer, according to research published ...

User comments : 0