Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene Discovery Opens Door To Tackling Disease

Date:
June 9, 2006
Source:
Western Australian Institute for Medical Research
Summary:
Western Australian researchers have discovered a new gene that could lead to breakthroughs in breast and prostate cancer, as well as diabetes.

Western Australian researchers have discovered a new gene that could lead to breakthroughs in breast and prostate cancer, as well as diabetes.

The gene, called SLIRP, was discovered by a team at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research's (WAIMR) Laboratory for Cancer Medicine, led by Professor Peter Leedman, in collaboration with Professor Bert O'Malley's team at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.

"When we baited our hook and went fishing in the breast cancer gene library we came up with SLIRP, much to our surprise, as this gene had not been characterised during the mapping of the human genome," said Professor Leedman.

"What's exciting is that SLIRP has the potential to shut down oestrogen in breast cancer cells and testosterone in prostate cancer cells.

"Most of those cancers depend on the hormones to stay alive, so if we can use SLIRP to block the hormones we may be able to help stop those diseases in their tracks."

Professor Leedman said the discovery could open the door to targeted new treatments for the cancers.

"If we can unravel the mystery of how SLIRP works to turn down the hormone action in cancer cells we could potentially develop so-called 'smart' drugs that zoom in on the gene," he said.

"The benefit is that 'smart' drugs can mean fewer nasty side effects for patients as they target specific genes, not entire areas of the body."

The find could also help researchers create blood tests to diagnose breast and prostate cancer.

"A breakthrough in the techniques available to diagnose breast and prostate cancer would hopefully allow for earlier detection and, importantly, lead to better survival rates," said Professor Leedman.

SLIRP has also been shown to turn down genes involved in energy metabolism.

"With its ability to turn off one of the key regulators of energy metabolism, SLIRP could well lead to progress in tackling diabetes and weight problems," Professor Leedman said.

The findings are to be published in the international journal, Molecular Cell, today, Friday, June 9.

Professor Leedman and his team have now applied for a patent on the gene.

Professor Leedman, who is also deputy director of WAIMR, is recognized internationally for his work on hormones. Several funding bodies have contributed to this work, including the National Health and Medical Research Council, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the Cancer Council of WA and the Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women, and about 2500 women and men die each year from breast and prostate cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Western Australian Institute for Medical Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Western Australian Institute for Medical Research. "Gene Discovery Opens Door To Tackling Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060609122833.htm>.
Western Australian Institute for Medical Research. (2006, June 9). Gene Discovery Opens Door To Tackling Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060609122833.htm
Western Australian Institute for Medical Research. "Gene Discovery Opens Door To Tackling Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060609122833.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins