Mechanism affecting risk of prostate cancer is found

January 10, 2014, Academy of Finland

A research group at Biocenter Oulu in Finland has identified a mechanism related to a transcription factor that binds much more strongly onto a particular SNP variant, thereby initiating a genetic programme which enhances prostate cancer proliferation and metastasis. The study opens up an important new direction in investigating the mechanisms related to the way in which SNP variations cause an elevated risk of prostate cancer and other human diseases. Published in Nature Genetics, the study was partly funded by the Academy of Finland.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in men worldwide. In Finland, more than 4,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.

The human genome is mainly identical throughout the human population worldwide. However, millions of small variations or polymorphisms, often located in a single , can be found between individuals. These variations are known as (SNP). Using DNA samples from tens of thousands of prostate cancer patients and healthy men, comparative genetic studies, known as genome-wide association studies, have identified dozens of SNPs associated with the risk of prostate cancer. However, because most of these SNPs are not found in the protein-coding regions of the genome, finding the genes that contribute to the risk of prostate cancer is difficult. For this reason, the question of how these single nucleotide genetic variations or SNPs lead to a risk of has not yet been answered.

Explore further: Researchers identify genetic variants predicting aggressive prostate cancers

More information: Qilai Huang, Thomas Whitington, Ping Gao, Johan F Lindberg, Yuehong Yang, Jielin Sun, Marja-Riitta Väisänen, Robert Szulkin, Matti Annala, Jian Yan, Lars A Egevad, Kai Zhang, Ruizhu Lin, Arttu Jolma, Matti Nykter, Aki Manninen, Fredrik Wiklund, Markku H Vaarala, Tapio Visakorpi, Jianfeng Xu, Jussi Taipale & Gong-Hong Wei, "A prostate cancer susceptibility allele at 6q22 increases RFX6 expression by modulating HOXB13 chromatin binding", Nature Genetics (2014), DOI: 10.1038/ng.2862

Related Stories

Researchers identify genetic variants predicting aggressive prostate cancers

June 19, 2013
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at Louisiana State University have developed a method for identifying aggressive prostate cancers that require immediate therapy. It relies on understanding the genetic ...

7 in 1 blow: Scientists discover DNA regions influencing prostate cancer risk

July 12, 2011
Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) are taking part in an international research consortium studying the genetic risks for prostate cancer. The consortium, a collaboration ...

Mutations in a gene that impacts immune function increase susceptibility to prostate cancer

August 29, 2013
A team of researchers led by Janet Stanford, Ph.D., of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has discovered that mutations in the gene BTNL2, which encodes a protein involved in regulating T-cell proliferation and cytokine ...

Research determines apparent genetic link to prostate cancer in African-American men

May 23, 2011
Some men of African descent may have a higher genetic risk of developing prostate cancer, according to research conducted at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).

Genetic test may reduce need for repeat biopsy for prostate cancer

July 18, 2012
Karim Kader, MD, PhD, associate clinical professor at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, together with a team of researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, have developed a genetic test to predict a man’s ...

Recommended for you

Study tracks evolutionary transition to destructive cancer

February 23, 2018
Evolution describes how all living forms cope with challenges in their environment, as they struggle to persevere against formidable odds. Mutation and selective pressure—cornerstones of Darwin's theory—are the means ...

Researchers use a molecular Trojan horse to deliver chemotherapeutic drug to cancer cells

February 23, 2018
A research team at the University of California, Riverside has discovered a way for chemotherapy drug paclitaxel to target migrating, or circulating, cancer cells, which are responsible for the development of tumor metastases.

Lab-grown 'mini tumours' could personalise cancer treatment

February 23, 2018
Testing cancer drugs on miniature replicas of a patient's tumour could help doctors tailor treatment, according to new research.

An under-the-radar immune cell shows potential in fight against cancer

February 23, 2018
One of the rarest of immune cells, unknown to scientists a decade ago, might prove to be a potent weapon in stopping cancer from spreading in the body, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Putting black skin cancer to sleep—for good

February 22, 2018
An international research team has succeeded in stopping the growth of malignant melanoma by reactivating a protective mechanism that prevents tumor cells from dividing. The team used chemical agents to block the enzymes ...

Cancer risk associated with key epigenetic changes occurring through normal aging process

February 22, 2018
Some scientists have hypothesized that tumor-promoting changes in cells during cancer development—particularly an epigenetic change involving DNA methylation—arise from rogue cells escaping a natural cell deterioration ...

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.