Gene which protects against lung cancer identified

December 2, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- A study led by researchers at The University of Nottingham has identified a gene that protects the body from lung cancer.

The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA and funded by a £72,000 grant from the British Lung Foundation, has found that the tumour suppressor gene, LIMD1, is responsible for protecting the body from developing lung cancer — paving the way for possible new treatments and early screening techniques.

Lead researcher Dr Tyson Sharp and his University of Nottingham team, together with US collaborator Dr Greg Longmore, set out to examine if loss of the LIMD1 gene correlated with lung cancer development.

The University of Nottingham team examined lung cancer tissue from patients with the disease and compared it to healthy lung tissue. They found that the LIMD1 gene was missing in the majority of lung cancer samples, indicating that the presence of the LIMD1 gene protects the body against lung cancer.

Dr Greg Longmore's team in the USA supported these findings, using a mouse without the LMID1 gene which developed lung cancer.

Dr Sharp said: "The LIMD1 gene studied in this research is located on part of chromosome 3, called 3p21.

"Chromosome 3p21 is often deleted very early on in the development of lung cancer due to the toxic chemicals in cigarettes, which implies that inactivation of LIMD1 could be a particularly important event in early stages of lung cancer development.

"We are now going to extend these finding by developing LIMD1 as a novel prognostic tool for detection of early stage lung cancer."

Lung cancer is the UK's biggest cancer killer, claiming around 33,600 lives a year. Ninety per cent of cases are caused by smoking. At present lung cancer is often detected late, meaning that 80 per cent of patients die within a year of being diagnosed.

Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation said: "This is very exciting research which could lead to the development of early screening techniques and treatments for lung cancer. We are very proud to have made this breakthrough possible".

Provided by University of Nottingham

Explore further: New genetic test for predicting cancer recurrence

Related Stories

New genetic test for predicting cancer recurrence

September 21, 2017
Researchers have discovered a new genetic test which could help predict cancer recurrence - paving the way for more precise, personalised treatments.

The big question: Will cancer immune therapy work for me?

September 20, 2017
Dennis Lyon was a genetic train wreck. Cancer was ravaging his liver, lungs, bones and brain, and tests showed so many tumor mutations that drugs targeting one or two wouldn't do much good. It seemed like very bad news, yet ...

New approach to genetic testing leads to dramatic response in MET fusion lung cancer

August 30, 2017
There are many ways a gene can be altered and there are many genes that, when altered, can cause cancer. Testing individually for each possible alteration in every cancer-related gene is not feasible as it would require hundreds ...

'Epigenetic' changes from cigarette smoke may be first step in lung cancer development

September 11, 2017
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have preliminary evidence in laboratory-grown, human airway cells that a condensed form of cigarette smoke triggers so-called "epigenetic" changes in the cells ...

Rare genetic cause of peritoneal mesothelioma points to targeted therapy

September 14, 2017
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive tumor that, in many cases, results from exposure to asbestos. But over the last several decades, other causes of the disease have emerged, including treatment with high-intensity therapeutic ...

Researchers identify possible new target in fight against lung cancer

September 12, 2017
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified a molecule called miR-124 in non-small cell lung cancer cells that plays a regulatory role in the cancer cells' fate—determining whether or not ...

Recommended for you

Forgotten strands of DNA initiate the development of immune cells

September 21, 2017
Intricate human physiological features such as the immune system require exquisite formation and timing to develop properly. Genetic elements must be activated at just the right moment, across vast distances of genomic space.

Genome editing reveals role of gene important for human embryo development

September 20, 2017
Researchers have used genome editing technology to reveal the role of a key gene in human embryos in the first few days of development. This is the first time that genome editing has been used to study gene function in human ...

A piece of the puzzle: Eight autism-related mutations in one gene

September 19, 2017
Scientists have identified a hotspot for autism-related mutations in a single gene.

Scientists identify key regulator of male fertility

September 19, 2017
When it comes to male reproductive fertility, timing is everything. Now scientists are finding new details on how disruption of this timing may contribute to male infertility or congenital illness.

New assay leads to step toward gene therapy for deaf patients

September 18, 2017
Scientists at Oregon State University have taken an important step toward gene therapy for deaf patients by developing a way to better study a large protein essential for hearing and finding a truncated version of it.

A new approach to high insulin levels

September 18, 2017
Diabetes is characterised by a deficiency of insulin. Its opposite is a condition called congenital hyperinsulinism—patients produce the hormone too frequently and in excessive quantities, even if they haven't eaten any ...

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.