CNIO participates in a study identifying a novel oncogene for most common types of blood cancer

May 24, 2019

Miguel Gallardo, researcher and coordinator of the H12O-CNIO Haematological Malignancies Clinical Research Unit headed by Joaquín Martínez at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), has participated in a study that revealed that hnRNP K overexpression may cause B-cell lymphomas, the most common types of blood cancer. The finding that this tumour suppressor gene may also cause cancer may lead to new methods for assessing patients and to the development of novel therapeutic approaches. The findings of the study, led by Sean Post, associate professor of Leukaemia at MD Anderson, were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI). Besides CNIO, the University Hospital 12 de Octubre and Complutense University of Madrid also participated in the study.

B lymphocytes are a type of white blood cells that develop in the bone marrow. They produce antibodies used by the immune system to neutralise pathogenic microorganisms. The different types of lymphomas affecting these types of blood cells are the most frequent blood cancers. Their prognosis and treatments depend on the cancer type and stage, since B-cell lymphomas may be slow-growing (malignant) or fast-growing (highly malignant).

Miguel Gallardo was the scientist who characterised hnRNP K as a tumour suppressor gene. His findings were published in Cancer Cell when he was a postdoctoral fellow at MD Anderson. It was already known that hnRNP K regulates a multitude of cellular processes and that both its overexpression and underexpression are involved in disease development. Elevated expression of hnRNP K had also been observed in patients with high-grade solid tumours. The tumour-promoting function of hnRNP K was confirmed for B-cell lymphomas in the study published in JNCI. Gallardo is co-first author alongside Prerna Malaney, postdoctoral fellow at MD Anderson.

"Overexpression of hnRNP K is often associated with poor recovery and low survival rates," says Gallardo. "This was confirmed by findings that overexpression of hnRNP K in transgenic mice resulted in development of lymphoma and reduced survival."

The study team found that the oncogenic potential of hnRNP K stems from its ability to regulate a common oncogene called MYC, which is often linked to blood cancer. The study results indicated that hnRNP K is an oncogene when overexpressed and represents a novel mechanism for c-MYC activation that is different from those observed in other tumour types thus far. Lymphoma patients might benefit from more personalised therapies based on targeting hnRNP K or c-MYC. In this regard, the H12O-CNIO Haematological Malignancies Clinical Research Unit is actively collaborating with other researchers at CNIO working on the development of new hnRNP K modulators for future clinical use. These researchers are Inés Muñoz, Ramón Campos-Olivas and Sonia Martínez, from the Crystallography and Protein Engineering Unit, the Spectroscopy and NMR Unit, and the Medical Chemistry Section, respectively.
-end-
The study was co-funded by the US National Institutes of Health, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society, the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research, and Cancer Research Innovation Spain.

Reference article: Uncovering the role of hnRNP K, an RNA-binding protein, in B-cell lymphomas. Miguel Gallardo et al. (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2019). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djz078

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (CNIO)

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.