Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Colorectal Cancer Risk Increased By Single-base Change In The Human Genome

Date:
July 8, 2009
Source:
Academy of Finland
Summary:
A single-base change in the human genome increases the risk of colorectal cancer.

Finnish Academy Professors Lauri Aaltonen and Jussi Taipale have identified and described a mechanism whereby a single-base change in the human genome increases the risk of colorectal cancer.

The focus in this study was on a common single-base variant occurring in chromosome 8, which in itself causes only a slightly increased risk of cancer. However, the risk allele is carried by 75% of people of European origin and by almost 100% of African populations.

The high frequency of the gene variant makes it a very common cause of cancer at the population level. At the individual level, however, the variant does not cause significant disease predisposition because that can often be considerably reduced by lifestyle changes. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide and a major cause of cancer mortality.

Mutation mechanisms activate pathways regulating cancer

The variant that increases the risk of colorectal cancer was found to be located in a regulatory region, where it changes the function of a key regulatory element important for the development of colorectal cancer. The scientists showed that the risk allele strengthens the binding of a regulatory factor in cancer cells, which activates pathways that are central to the development of cancer. The impacts of this altered genetic regulation on cell division are probably mediated via the MYC cancer gene, which is one of the best known accelerator genes in cancer.

Single-base changes are the most common type of variation found in the human genome. Genome-wide studies of interindividual differences in common variants can be studied using DNA chip technology, which has greatly facilitated efforts to understand the genetic basis of multifactorial diseases. To date, scientists have identified more than 400 variants in the human genome that are associated with an increased risk of common diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Multidisciplinary research

The findings of this research lend support to the theory that human disease susceptibility is explained in part by differences in regulatory regions of the genome, and in gene expression. A closer understanding of the biological mechanisms involved will help to clarify the aetiology of colorectal cancer and pave the way to more effective cancer prevention. Apart from hereditary tumor predisposition, another area of major strength for Finnish research is gene regulation. It was hardly surprising therefore that Aaltonen's and Taipale's research teams found each other so easily. The research project supervised by Aaltonen and Taipale involved molecular biologists, medical doctors and data processing researchers from Finland and the UK. For instance, the project made use of the EEL software developed by Professor Esko Ukkonen and his team at the CoE for Algorithmic Data Analysis.

The research was funded by the Academy of Finland, the European Union, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation and the Cancer Foundation.

The results of the study will be published in the journal Nature Genetics. DOI 10.1038/ng.406


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Academy of Finland. "Colorectal Cancer Risk Increased By Single-base Change In The Human Genome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629112631.htm>.
Academy of Finland. (2009, July 8). Colorectal Cancer Risk Increased By Single-base Change In The Human Genome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629112631.htm
Academy of Finland. "Colorectal Cancer Risk Increased By Single-base Change In The Human Genome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629112631.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 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:

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