Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breast cancer study finds new type of mutation

Date:
April 16, 2012
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new class of molecular mutation in various forms of breast cancer, a finding that may shed new light on development and growth of different types of breast tumors.

Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a new class of molecular mutation in various forms of breast cancer, a finding that may shed new light on development and growth of different types of breast tumors. Called fusion transcripts, the mutated forms of RNA may also provide a way to identify tumor subtypes and offer new strategies to treat them, investigators say.

Related Articles


Their study, published in the April 15 issue of Cancer Research, is the first to systematically search for fusion genes and fusion transcripts linked to different types of breast tumors.

Oncologists currently recognize three basic types of breast tumors -- estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive, HER2-positive, and triple negative.

"But breast cancer is much more complex than indicated by these three subtypes, and one of the challenges of treating the disease is to identify gene markers that predict how a tumor will respond to a specific treatment," says senior investigator Edith Perez, M.D., deputy director of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida and director of the Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program, which involves researchers at all three Mayo Clinic campuses.

"The discovery of subtype-specific fusion transcripts in breast cancer represents a step in this direction," she says. "Our findings indicate that fusion transcripts are much more common in breast cancer than had been realized. They represent a new class of mutation whose role in breast cancer is not understood at all."

"Fusion transcripts have the power to produce proteins that are relevant to tumor development, growth, and sensitivity to treatment, so we may have a brand new set of genomic changes that may help us understand, and treat, breast cancer in a new way," says E. Aubrey Thompson, Ph.D., professor of Biology at Mayo Clinic's Comprehensive Cancer Center, and co-director of the Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program.

"This is a novel discovery that will now require additional investigation," he says. "We need to understand what these fusion transcripts and proteins are doing."

Fusion transcripts are created when chromosomes break apart and recombine, an event that commonly occurs in cancer cells. During this process, fusion genes are created when two halves of normal genes become linked. Fusion genes (DNA) create fusion transcripts (RNA), which then produce fusion proteins.

"Mistakes are made," Dr. Thompson says. "That is one of the salient properties of tumor cells, because they are defective in repairing damage to their genes."

"These mutated proteins may have an entirely new, cancer-promoting function, or they may interfere with normal cellular functions."

Fusion transcripts are common in blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Before this discovery, however, few were found in solid cancers such as breast tumors.

Because fusion genes, transcript, and protein are generally found only in tumors, they make ideal biomarkers to identify tumor cells, Dr. Perez says.

Also, proteins produced by fusion transcripts may be relevant to tumor growth, as has been seen in blood cancers and in lung cancer, she says.

"These transcripts may mark regions of localized chromosomal instability that are linked to growth of breast cancer. If we can develop drugs against these transcripts, they will be ideal therapeutic targets," Dr. Perez says. "We have a lot of exciting work to do in the next few years."

The study was supported in part by grants from the State of Florida Bankhead-Coley program, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, 26.2 with Donna Foundation, Carmichael Family Foundation, Eveleigh Family, National Cancer Institute, and Mayo Foundation.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. W. Asmann, B. M. Necela, K. R. Kalari, A. Hossain, T. R. Baker, J. M. Carr, C. Davis, J. E. Getz, G. Hostetter, X. Li, S. A. McLaughlin, D. C. Radisky, G. P. Schroth, H. E. Cunliffe, E. A. Perez, E. A. Thompson. Detection of Redundant Fusion Transcripts as Biomarkers or Disease-Specific Therapeutic Targets in Breast Cancer. Cancer Research, 2012; 72 (8): 1921 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-3142

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Breast cancer study finds new type of mutation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416095107.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2012, April 16). Breast cancer study finds new type of mutation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416095107.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Breast cancer study finds new type of mutation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416095107.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) 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