Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Family Of Liver Cancer Genes Discovered

Date:
February 29, 2008
Source:
Stony Brook University Medical Center
Summary:
A family of genes linked to the development of liver cancer have been identified. Researchers discovered in a mouse model that the loss of one specific gene (Iqgap2) in this family causes Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). They also found that when another member of the gene family (Iqgap1) is turned on, a more aggressive form of the disease occurs.

These three images of a mouse liver used by researchers at Stony Brook University Medical Center show: a normal liver; a diseased liver with Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), due to loss of the Iqgap2 gene; and another liver with HCC but with less severe disease, due to simultaneous inactivation of the Iqgap1 gene.
Credit: Image courtesy of Stony Brook University Medical Center

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Stony Brook University Medical Center has identified a family of genes linked to the development of liver cancer. Principal Investigator Wadie F. Bahou, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Genetics, and colleagues discovered in a mouse model that the loss of one specific gene (Iqgap2) in this family causes Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). They also found that when another member of the gene family (Iqgap1) is turned on, a more aggressive form of the disease occurs.

Dr. Bahou says that the findings regarding the two genes demonstrate that both genes could serve as a basis for developing important targets for early diagnosis and/or treatment of HCC. The disease accounts for more than 80 percent of all liver cancer in humans, which causes death in 500,000 to 1 million adults annually worldwide. Treatment for advanced HCC is often ineffective. A recently approved chemotherapy drug developed to treat metastatic liver cancer provides disease stabilization but not a cure.

“This is an exciting development in the field of cancer research, as there is a tremendous need for targeted therapies for liver cancer,” emphasizes Dr. Bahou. “The data resulting from our research provides important insights into genes that may predispose to HCC development,” he adds, further noting that the model is a valuable tool for testing therapeutic agents aimed at curing liver cancer.

Dr. Bahou explains that to date attempts to treat liver cancer have been difficult without appropriate animal models of disease. He says that the model generated by the Stony Brook team is the closest to human disease because:

  1. The disease closely resembles human HCC microscopically;
  2. does not require intervention from outside sources, such as chemically induced cancer models;
  3. is associated with a reproducible and very high incidence of HCC, and
  4. is strictly limited to HCC.

With expertise ranging from hematology/oncology, genetics, pharmacology and pathology, the team detailed their results in an article titled “Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Iqgap2-Deficient Mice Is Iqgap1-dependent.” They collectively found that Iqgap1 and Iqgap2 have functionally divergent roles in hepatocellular carcinogenesis. When they removed the Iqgap2 gene using sophisticated genetic techniques, the mice developed HCC. This result confirmed that Iqgap2 has a fundamentally important protective role against the development of liver cancer.

When mice retained Iqgap1, the cousin gene of Iqgap2, the animals developed more advanced disease. Further experimentation showed that inactivation of Iqgap1 in the mouse liver limits the aggressiveness of HCC caused by Iqgap2 deficiency.

According to Dr. Bahou, the researchers are currently conducting similar genetic analyses in human liver cancer.

These findings are reported in the March issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Co-investigators of the mouse study include lead author Valentina A. Schmidt, Ph.D., Department of Medicine; Carmine S. Chiariello, Ph.D., Program in Genetics; Encarnaci๓n Capilla, Ph.D., Department of Pharmaological Sciences, and Frederick Miller, M.D., Department of Pathology. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stony Brook University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stony Brook University Medical Center. "Family Of Liver Cancer Genes Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080227213436.htm>.
Stony Brook University Medical Center. (2008, February 29). Family Of Liver Cancer Genes Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080227213436.htm
Stony Brook University Medical Center. "Family Of Liver Cancer Genes Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080227213436.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A CDC report says birth rates among teenagers have been declining for decades, reaching a new low in 2013. We look at several popular explanations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Antibiotic Could Lead To Heart-Related Death

Common Antibiotic Could Lead To Heart-Related Death

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Danish researchers discovered patients taking clarithromycin have an increased risk of dying from a heart-related issue. Video provided by Newsy
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