Highlight: When the smoke clears: Molecular link between tobacco carcinogen and cancer

January 20, 2010

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 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.

More information: The tobacco-specific carcinogen NNK induces DNA methyltransferase 1 accumulation and tumor suppressor gene hypermethylation in mice and lung cancer patients. View this article at: www.jci.org/articles/view/40706?key=be406da6c2aac829be98

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Study: Enhancing cancer response to radiation

December 2, 2016

OHSU researcher Sudarshan Anand, Ph.D., has a contemporary analogy to describe microRNA: "I sometimes compare MicroRNA to tweets—they're short, transient and constantly changing."

Rare childhood disease linked to major cancer gene

December 1, 2016

A team of researchers led by a University of Rhode Island scientist has discovered an important molecular link between a rare childhood genetic disease, Fanconi anemia, and a major cancer gene called PTEN. The discovery improves ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.