New breast cancer targets

May 4, 2018, Vanderbilt University
Three-dimensional culture of human breast cancer cells, with DNA stained blue and a protein in the cell surface membrane stained green. Image created in 2014 by Tom Misteli, Ph.D., and Karen Meaburn, Ph.D. at the NIH IRP.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 150 genetic variations associated with increased risk for breast cancer. Most of these variants are not located in protein-coding gene regions but are assumed to regulate the expression of certain genes.

One way to figure out what these variants are doing is to conduct a cis-eQTL analysis. That's a way of detecting changes in the expression of genes presumably regulated by a nearby variant.

Using four large-scale data sets from normal and cancerous breast tissue samples, Xingyi Guo, Ph.D., and colleagues identified 101 candidate susceptibility genes with variant-associated gene expression changes. In grown in culture, the researchers also demonstrated how three genes promoted tumor growth by disrupting normal cell behavior.

Their findings, published May 3 in the American Journal of Human Genetics, reveal potential target genes associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and provide additional insights into the underlying genetic and biological mechanisms that drive this common cancer.

Explore further: Research helps refine role of gene variants in breast cancer risk

More information: Xingyi Guo et al. A Comprehensive cis -eQTL Analysis Revealed Target Genes in Breast Cancer Susceptibility Loci Identified in Genome-wide Association Studies, The American Journal of Human Genetics (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.03.016

Related Stories

Research helps refine role of gene variants in breast cancer risk

December 7, 2016
Inherited pathogenic variants in protein coding genes BARD1 and RAD51D increase a woman's likelihood of developing breast cancer, according to research conducted at Mayo Clinic and presented today at the 2016 San Antonio ...

Even DNA that doesn't encode genes can drive cancer

April 2, 2018
Most of the human genome—98 percent—is made up of DNA but doesn't actually encode genes, the recipes cells use to build proteins. The vast majority of genetic mutations associated with cancer occur in these non-coding ...

Researchers quantify breast cancer risk based on rare variants and background risk

October 22, 2017
Rare variants combined with background genetic risk factors may account for many unexplained cases of familial breast cancer, and knowing the specific genes involved could inform choice of prevention and treatment strategies, ...

Study identifies genes linked to breast cancer in East Asian women

July 23, 2014
A new study in East Asian women has identified three genetic changes linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. The research, led by Vanderbilt University investigators, was published online July 20 in Nature Genetics.

Shifting protein networks in breast cancer may alter gene function

November 30, 2017
A given gene may perform a different function in breast cancer cells than in healthy cells due to changes in networks of interacting proteins, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational Biology.

Major study of genetics of breast cancer provides clues to mechanisms behind the disease

October 23, 2017
Seventy-two new genetic variants that contribute to the risk of developing breast cancer have been identified by a major international collaboration involving hundreds of researchers worldwide.

Recommended for you

Two ways cancer resists treatment are actually connected, with one activating the other

December 18, 2018
Drugs that target BRAF and MEK in cancer have shown promise in treating a subset of melanoma that carries a mutation in the BRAF gene, but drug resistance usually emerges, reversing the benefit of these drugs and limiting ...

HPV discovery raises hope for new cervical cancer treatments

December 18, 2018
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have made a discovery about human papillomavirus (HPV) that could lead to new treatments for cervical cancer and other cancers caused by the virus.

Vaccine, checkpoint drugs combination shows promise for pancreatic cancers

December 18, 2018
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center discovered a combination of a cancer vaccine with two checkpoint drugs reduced pancreatic cancer tumors in mice, demonstrating a possible pathway for treatment of people ...

Researchers identify ways breast cancer avoids immune system detection

December 18, 2018
Recent breakthroughs in immunotherapy are making a huge difference in treating some forms of cancer, especially metastatic cancer. But breast cancer has proven a tricky foe for this new therapy, and an interdisciplinary team ...

Metal chemotherapy drugs boost the impact of immunotherapy in cancer

December 18, 2018
Due to their powerful tumour-killing effect, metal-based chemotherapies are frequently used in cancer treatment. However, it was hitherto assumed that they damaged the immune system, because of their cytotoxic (cell-damaging) ...

10-year follow-up after negative colonoscopies linked to lower colorectal cancer risk

December 17, 2018
Ten years after a negative colonoscopy, Kaiser Permanente members had 46 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with and were 88 percent less likely to die from colorectal cancer compared with those who did not undergo colorectal ...

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.