A team of researchers, led by Yi-Ching Wang, at National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, Republic of China, has uncovered a potential mechanism by which the tobacco-specific carcinogen NNK promotes lung tumor formation and development.
Specifically, they suggest that NNK induces the accumulation of a protein known as DNMT1 in the nucleus and that this protein silences genes that suppress tumor formation.
The authors generate several lines of evidence to support their suggested mechanism, one of which is the observation that DNMT1 accumulates in both lung adenomas from NNK-treated mice and tumors from lung cancer patients that were smokers.
Of clinical relevance, DNMT1 overexpression in lung cancer patients who smoked continuously correlated with poor prognosis. These data identify a potential important link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer.
The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
- Ruo-Kai Lin, Yi-Shuan Hsieh, Pinpin Lin, Han-Shui Hsu, Chih-Yi Chen, Yen-An Tang, Chung-Fan Lee and Yi-Ching Wang. The tobacco-specific carcinogen NNK induces DNA methyltransferase 1 accumulation and tumor suppressor gene hypermethylation in mice and lung cancer patients. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010; DOI: 10.1172/JCI40706
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Journal of Clinical Investigation. "When the smoke clears: Molecular link between tobacco carcinogen and cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119172745.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2010, January 20). When the smoke clears: Molecular link between tobacco carcinogen and cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119172745.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "When the smoke clears: Molecular link between tobacco carcinogen and cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119172745.htm (accessed September 30, 2016).