Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic link between emphysema, lung cancer uncovered

Date:
June 9, 2011
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
A gene linked to emphysema also can be a factor for developing lung cancer unrelated to cigarette smoking, new research indicates. Smoking was the only known risk factor previously associated with both diseases.

A gene linked to emphysema also can be a factor for developing lung cancer unrelated to cigarette smoking, UT Southwestern Medical Center research indicates. Smoking was the only known risk factor previously associated with both diseases.

In the study, mice bred to have the human gene pleiomorphic adenoma gene-like 2 (PLAGL2) all developed emphysema, and by gender also developed lung cancer at rates as high as one in every six rodents. Although the new study showed PLAGL2 as a contributing factor in emphysema and lung cancer development, the diseases form in opposite ways. Emphysema arises from cell death or injury, while lung cancer involves uncontrolled cell growth.

"We think this gene induces emphysema by causing stem cells in the lung to die," said Dr. Jonathan Weissler, vice chairman of the department of medicine and chief of medicine at UT Southwestern University Hospital and senior author of the study, available online and due to be published in the journal Lung Cancer in October. "The cells that don't die through apoptosis would be more likely to have uncontrolled growth" and become cancerous, suggesting a genetic link between the diseases.

The gene is a known driver of several types of cancer. The degree to which PLAGL2 turns on, or is expressed, plays a role in cancer development. Previous research has demonstrated that female lung cancer patients with higher levels of gene expression had much poorer survival rates.

Increased PLAGL2 expression also aggravates emphysema. In 2009, Dr. Weissler and UT Southwestern colleagues found that high expression of this gene led to enlarged airways (alveoli) in mice. Female mice in particular were more prone to develop emphysema.

"The mice in that study developed the same type of emphysema seen in smokers despite the fact they were not exposed to cigarette smoke," said Dr. Weissler, director of the James M. Collins Center for Biomedical Research.

The new study revealed higher incidence of lung cancer in male mice. Of two PLAGL2 mice groups tested, lung cancer developed in 12.5 percent and 18.5 percent of male mice. The rate for female mice was zero and 3.7 percent.

In human cases, the association between these two diseases also is stronger in men. One study showed that about 10 percent of patients with severe emphysema -- all men -- also had lung cancer. The reasons for these gender differences are as yet unknown, although this information eventually could be used to help identify patients at risk for cancer.

"PLAGL2 expression could be used as a marker for cells that are at risk of undergoing malignant transformation," Dr. Weissler said.

Other researchers involved in the study were lead authors Dr. Yih-Sheng Yang and Dr. Meng-Chun Yang, both former assistant professors of internal medicine at UT Southwestern.

The study was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Will Rogers Institute and the Collins Center for Biomedical Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yih-Sheng Yang, Meng-Chun W. Yang, Jonathan C. Weissler. Pleiomorphic adenoma gene-like 2 expression is associated with the development of lung adenocarcinoma and emphysema. Lung Cancer, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.02.006

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Genetic link between emphysema, lung cancer uncovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609105532.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2011, June 9). Genetic link between emphysema, lung cancer uncovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609105532.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Genetic link between emphysema, lung cancer uncovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609105532.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 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:
from the past week

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