An unexpected role for epigenetic enzymes in cancer

To better understand how cancer initiates and spreads, Yale associate professor of pathology Qin Yan turned to the field of epigenetics, which examines changes in the expression of genes and proteins that do not affect the underlying genetic codes.

In a Yale-led study, Yan and his co-authors focused on a family of enzymes—known as KDM5—that had been shown in previous studies to be involved in and spreading.

First author Lauren Blair, an associate research scientist, conducted biochemical studies with Baker's yeast as the model system, and identified an unexpected role of these enzymes in the process by which genetic messages are interpreted by . Further studies showed that the enzymes' role as regulators of this process is also important for human tumor cells to grow and spread. The finding could lead to a therapy that inhibits the enzyme, and , in cancer patients.

The study is published in Science Advances.


Explore further

Single-cell analysis supports a role for cancer stem cells in brain tumor growth

More information: L. P. Blair et al. KDM5 lysine demethylases are involved in maintenance of 3'UTR length, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501662
Journal information: Science Advances

Provided by Yale University
Citation: An unexpected role for epigenetic enzymes in cancer (2016, December 6) retrieved 19 September 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-12-unexpected-role-epigenetic-enzymes-cancer.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

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