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Looping Genes May Hold A Key To Understanding Breast Cancer

Date:
April 11, 2008
Source:
University of Queensland
Summary:
Another piece of the puzzle that is breast cancer has been found. Researchers have discovered how a particular gene associated with breast cancer behaves, which may lead to better testing for the debilitating disease.

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."

The research was recently published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Queensland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Queensland. "Looping Genes May Hold A Key To Understanding Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080409100453.htm>.
University of Queensland. (2008, April 11). Looping Genes May Hold A Key To Understanding Breast Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080409100453.htm
University of Queensland. "Looping Genes May Hold A Key To Understanding Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080409100453.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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