Second Look Acquits Gene Of Role In Breast Cancer

July 31, 1997

"This may just be another something the cancer cell messes up."

Johns Hopkins scientists studying a gene previously identified as a breast cancer gene report evidence that the gene may be innocent.

In a report in Cell last January, the TSG101 gene was identified as a tumor suppressor gene -- a gene that is often mutated or damaged in human breast cancers.

In this month's Cancer Research, the Hopkins team says TSG101 was consistently normal and undamaged in human breast cancer cells. The cells could not correctly "read" TSG101, but researchers said the same mistake occurs in normal cells and is unlikely to help create cancer.

"This may be just another something the cancer cell messes up," says Andrew Feinberg, M.D. "It definitely does not appear to be contributing to cancer cells' creation, but since this is the first time we've observed such an error in a cancer cell's ability to decipher a gene, we're not sure yet if it provides any advantages to the cancer cell."

With funding from the Department of Defense, Feinberg and Maxwell Lee, Ph.D., studied TSG101 in normal and cancerous human breast cells, and in other cells. They found no sign of deletions, mutations or other damage to TSG101 in any of the cells.

The cancer cells introduced mistakes into the gene's protein-building instructions, Feinberg says, but did so after "reading" the gene, which was not mutated.

"The cell encodes genetic instructions into a string of chemicals called ribonucleic acid or RNA, which later is used as a blueprint for building a protein," he explains. "But the string of RNA coding for the protein is normally interrupted at several points by coding that is not part of the protein. Before the cell can use it, it has to clip out these pieces. And it's in this splicing' process that something's going wrong in the cancerous cells."

In many cases, the cancerous cells cut too much out of the RNA, or pasted the remaining RNA together wrong. Normal and fetal cells made the same mistakes, but much less often.

"The earlier report of TSG101 deletions was actually detecting this altered splicing," says Feinberg.

"Is this important, this unusual splicing of RNA?" Feinberg asks. "It's possible. We think that a lot of what tumor cells do involves activating normal, specialized cell behaviors in an abnormal way, and this abnormal RNA splicing may be one example of that."

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Related Cancer Cells Articles from Brightsurf:

Cancer researchers train white blood cells to attacks tumor cells
Scientists at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC) and Dresden University Medicine, together with an international team of researchers, were able to demonstrate that certain white blood cells, so-called neutrophil granulocytes, can potentially - after completing a special training program -- be utilized for the treatment of tumors.

New way to target some rapidly dividing cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed
Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Oxford say they have found a new way to kill some multiplying human breast cancer cells by selectively attacking the core of their cell division machinery.

Breast cancer cells use message-carrying vesicles to send oncogenic stimuli to normal cells
According to a Wistar study, breast cancer cells starved for oxygen send out messages that induce oncogenic changes in surrounding normal epithelial cells.

Breast cancer cells turn killer immune cells into allies
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that breast cancer cells can alter the function of immune cells known as Natural killer (NK) cells so that instead of killing the cancer cells, they facilitate their spread to other parts of the body.

Breast cancer cells can reprogram immune cells to assist in metastasis
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators report they have uncovered a new mechanism by which invasive breast cancer cells evade the immune system to metastasize, or spread, to other areas of the body.

Engineered immune cells recognize, attack human and mouse solid-tumor cancer cells
CAR-T therapy has been used successfully in patients with blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia.

Drug that keeps surface receptors on cancer cells makes them more visible to immune cells
A drug that is already clinically available for the treatment of nausea and psychosis, called prochlorperazine (PCZ), inhibits the internalization of receptors on the surface of tumor cells, thereby increasing the ability of anticancer antibodies to bind to the receptors and mount more effective immune responses.

Engineered bone marrow cells slow growth of prostate and pancreatic cancer cells
In experiments with mice, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have slowed the growth of transplanted human prostate and pancreatic cancer cells by introducing bone marrow cells with a specific gene deletion to induce a novel immune response.

First phase i clinical trial of CRISPR-edited cells for cancer shows cells safe and durable
Following the first US test of CRISPR gene editing in patients with advanced cancer, researchers report these patients experienced no negative side effects and that the engineered T cells persisted in their bodies -- for months.

Zika virus' key into brain cells ID'd, leveraged to block infection and kill cancer cells
Two different UC San Diego research teams identified the same molecule -- αvβ5 integrin -- as Zika virus' key to brain cell entry.

Read More: Cancer Cells News and Cancer Cells Current Events 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