Structure of a stem cell of an ancestral metazoan. The insert shows the activity of the cancer gene myc in these cells.
Credit: University of Innsbruck
To find the causes for cancer, biochemists and developmental biologists at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, retraced the function of an important human cancer gene 600 million years back in time. For the first time, they have identified the oncogene myc in a fresh water polyp and they have shown that this oncogene has similar biochemical functions in ancestral metazoan and in humans. The scientists published their findings in PNAS.
The above story is based on materials provided by University of Innsbruck. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
- Hartl et al. Stem cell-specific activation of an ancestral myc protooncogene with conserved basic functions in the early metazoan Hydra. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0911060107
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University of Innsbruck. "'Primitive' cancer gene discovered in ancestral metazoan." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100211090750.htm>.
University of Innsbruck. (2010, February 15). 'Primitive' cancer gene discovered in ancestral metazoan. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 7, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100211090750.htm
University of Innsbruck. "'Primitive' cancer gene discovered in ancestral metazoan." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100211090750.htm (accessed March 7, 2014).