Fusion genes are common chromosomal aberrations in many cancers, and can be used as prognostic markers and drug targets in clinical practice.
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Matti Annala at Tampere University of Technology in Finland identified a fusion between the FGFR3 and TACC3 genes in human glioblastoma samples.
The protein produced by this fusion gene promoted tumor growth and progression in a mouse model of glioblastoma, while increased expression of either of the normal genes did not alter tumor progression.
Ivan Babic and Paul Mischel of the University of California, San Diego, explain in the accompanying commentary that it remains unclear how this fusion protein mediates tumorigenesis.
More information: The tumorigenic fusion FGFR3-TACC3 escapes miR-99a regulation in glioblastoma, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2013.
Multiple functions of a glioblastoma fusion oncogene, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2013.