Study data published in the journal Nature Genetics describe the discovery of novel genes that suppress prostate and other cancers, ScienceDaily reported Monday.
"We developed a new method that coupled Pten inactivation with mobilisation of the transposon," commented study author Jorge de la Rosa, adding "by analysing which genes were disrupted in the cancers that grew, we were able to pinpoint genes that cooperate with Pten in suppressing tumours."
In the study, the investigators analysed 278 prostate, breast and skin tumours from mice and revealed hundreds of genes that could cooperate with PTEN and act as further tumour suppressor genes, while the five most promising genes were examined in cell lines and prostate tumours.
"We found that genetically inactivating PTEN and each of the five candidate genes in human cell lines did drive cancerous changes in the cells," said study author Juan Cadiñanos, continuing "we also discovered that human prostate cancer samples had lower levels of expression from the five genes than usual, indicating that these pathways may be important for suppressing tumours."
"Drugs that target PTEN related pathways are under development, but tumours quickly develop resistance," remarked study author Allan Bradley, adding "this new method is a good way of highlighting important tumour suppressor networks, and we hope the genes identified in this study will provide a basis for the development of therapeutic strategies for prostate and other cancers."
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