Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Newly Discovered Gene Plays Vital Role In Cancer

Date:
March 6, 2009
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Gene p53 protects against cancer and is usually described as the most important gene in cancer research. However, scientists have now shown that a previously unknown gene, Wrap53, controls the activity of p53. As the regulation mechanism is relatively unexplored, the study opens up new routes to solving the mystery of cancer.

Gene p53 protects against cancer and is usually described as the most important gene in cancer research. However, scientists at Karolinska Institutet have now shown that a previously unknown gene, Wrap53, controls the activity of p53. As the regulation mechanism is relatively unexplored, the study opens up new routes to solving the mystery of cancer.

The p53 gene makes sure that cells with damaged DNA either repair themselves or commit suicide. If p53 itself is damaged, which is the case in roughly half of all cancer tumours, cells that are on their way to becoming cancerous are allowed to survive. Much cancer research revolves around the cell processes that p53 induces.

A group of researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now identified a new gene, called Wrap53, that regulates the activity of p53. The study, which is published in the journal Molecular Cell, demonstrates that Wrap53 gives rise to a molecule, called antisense RNA, the presence of which is necessary for the production of sufficient quantities of p53 protein in the event of DNA damage.

According to Marianne Farnebo, one of the scientists involved in the study, the results indicate that damage to Wrap53 can indirectly cause cancer. Wrap53 is therefore a new potential target for future cancer therapies.

"Mutations in the p53 gene contribute to about half of all cancer cases," she says. "In the remaining half, p53 is probably inactivated in other ways, such as damage to Wrap53 knocking out the production of the p53 protein. "

The study is also one of the first to show how antisense RNA regulates genes in the human body. It is already a well-known fact that genes often control each other through the influence of their end products - usually proteins - on gene expression. With antisense regulation, control is effected instead through the production of mutually stabilising or destructive RNA molecules by genes with overlapping sequences, which determines whether or not the RNA molecules form proteins.

"At least 20 per cent of all genes can be regulated by antisense RNA, making it a potentially very common control mechanism," says Dr Farnebo. "But it's been difficult to show that antisense RNA really does serve important functions in the body, as we've managed to do in this study."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Salah Mahmoudi, Sofia Henriksson, Martin Corcoran, Cristina Mιndez-Vidal, Klas G. Wiman & Marianne Farnebo. Wrap53, a natural p53 antisense transcript required for p53 induction upon DNA damage. Molecular Cell, February 27, 2009

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Newly Discovered Gene Plays Vital Role In Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090227072646.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2009, March 6). Newly Discovered Gene Plays Vital Role In Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090227072646.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Newly Discovered Gene Plays Vital Role In Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090227072646.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
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