Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene Mutation That Causes Eye Cancer Discovered

Date:
December 12, 2008
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
A geneticist has discovered a gene mutation that can cause the most common eye cancer -- uveal melanoma. The genetic mutation in a gene called GNAQ could be responsible for 45 percent of the cases of uveal melanoma.

A University of British Columbia geneticist has discovered a gene mutation that can cause the most common eye cancer - uveal melanoma.

Related Articles


Catherine Van Raamsdonk, an assistant professor of medical genetics in the UBC Faculty of Medicine and a team of researchers, have discovered a genetic mutation in a gene called GNAQ that could be responsible for 45 per cent of the cases of uveal melanoma.

The findings, published today in Nature, will allow researchers to develop therapeutic interventions against some melanomas.

"We discovered that GNAQ regulates melanocyte survival," says Van Raamsdonk. "When the GNAQ gene is mutated it leads to unregulated growth of melanocytes. Since cancer is a disease of unregulated cell growth, our findings led us to the discovery that a genetic mutation of the GNAQ gene causes uveal melanoma."

Uveal melanoma is a cancer arising from melanocytes located in the uveal tract. The uveal tract is one of the three layers that make up the wall of the eye. A melanoma is unregulated growth of melanocytes. Melanocytes are also found in the skin and are cells linked to a life-threatening form of skin cancer.

The mutation to GNAQ leads to the activation of a signaling pathway that has previously been implicated in many other types of melanoma. The researchers also found that this mutation is a key factor in the development of a type of benign skin mole - blue naevi.

"Prior to our work, the mutations responsible for uveal melanoma were completely unknown," says Van Raamsdonk. "No other research looked at mutations in GNAQ. The next step is to develop an effective treatment by targeting the specific biological processes that this mutated gene controls."

Uveal melanoma, the most common eye cancer, affects one in 13,000 people. It is a highly aggressive cancer without any effective treatment options once it metastasizes. Although it only accounts for approximately five per cent of all melanomas, it represents the most common eye cancer in the United States.

The research was funded by a grant from the Canadian Institute for Health Research and performed with support from collaborators at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at Children and Family Research Institute in British Columbia, Stanford University and the University of California at San Francisco.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Gene Mutation That Causes Eye Cancer Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210143414.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2008, December 12). Gene Mutation That Causes Eye Cancer Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210143414.htm
University of British Columbia. "Gene Mutation That Causes Eye Cancer Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210143414.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) — Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) — Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) — AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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