Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanism behind demethylation pinpointed in APC gene mutants

Date:
September 20, 2010
Source:
University of Utah Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers demonstrate in a study the mechanism by which mutation of the APC gene affects a cellular process known as DNA methylation.

Colon cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States and causes more than 50,000 deaths each year. It has been known for some time that mutations in the APC gene occur in more than 85 percent of all sporadic colon cancers.

Related Articles


Now researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah demonstrate in a study featured in Cell the mechanism by which mutation of the APC gene affects a cellular process known as DNA methylation. DNA methylation is a chemical modification made to DNA that plays an important role in dictating how DNA is read and interpreted by a cell.

The group, led by David Jones, Ph.D., and Bradley Cairns, Ph.D., have now linked loss of Apc with DNA demethylase, an enzyme system that erases DNA methylation. Studies using human tissues and zebarafish demonstrate that this system is highly active in tissues harboring mutated Apc and may provide an explanation for the previously known loss of DNA methylation seen in early stage tumors. The activity of the DNA demethylase appears to stall the normal development of intestinal cells, leaving them in a stem cell-like state. Normal development was restored upon inhibition of the DNA demethylase system.

The experiments conducted by the group also demonstrated that the mechanistic connection between APC mutation and demethylation is conveyed through changes in the amount of retinoic acid (RA), an important regulatory compound derived from dietary vitamin A.

"We believe that clarification of the mechanism leading to demethylation will have broad implications for a variety of cancers. Our increased understanding of the mechanics connecting APC mutation and demethylation presents new opportunities for colon cancer intervention and may lead the way to developing a truly finely tuned approach to treatment," said Jones. Cairns added, "Since the mechanism of action of the demethylase can inherently create new mutations, misregulation of the system could underlie the occurrence of mutations in additional oncogenes. Its inhibition may therefore allow us to both prevent and treat certain cancers."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Kunal Rai, Sharmistha Sarkar, Talmage J. Broadbent, Matthew Voas, Kenneth F. Grossmann, Lincoln D. Nadauld, Somaye Dehghanizadeh, Fanuel T. Hagos, Yumei Li, Rachel K. Toth, Stephanie Chidester, Timothy M. Bahr, W. Evan Johnson, Brad Sklow, Randall Burt, Bradley R. Cairns, David A. Jones. DNA Demethylase Activity Maintains Intestinal Cells in an Undifferentiated State Following Loss of APC. Cell, 2010; 142 (6): 930-942 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.08.030

Cite This Page:

University of Utah Health Sciences. "Mechanism behind demethylation pinpointed in APC gene mutants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100917183031.htm>.
University of Utah Health Sciences. (2010, September 20). Mechanism behind demethylation pinpointed in APC gene mutants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100917183031.htm
University of Utah Health Sciences. "Mechanism behind demethylation pinpointed in APC gene mutants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100917183031.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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