04 March 2008

A family of genes predisposing to hepatic cell carcinoma

Scientists at New York University in Stony Brook (Stony Brook University), working under the guidance of Professor Wadie F. Bahou, in experiments on mice identified a family of genes associated with the development of liver cancer. They found that the loss of one of the genes of this family – Iqgap2 – leads to the development of hepatic cell carcinoma, and the activation of the Iqgap1 gene belonging to this family leads to the development of particularly aggressive forms of the disease.

The authors believe that both genes can be used as targets for early diagnosis and/or treatment of hepatic cell carcinoma, which accounts for up to 80% of all malignant liver diseases. Treatment of progressive hepatic cell carcinoma is most often ineffective, and recently appeared on the market drugs for the treatment of metastatic liver cancer can stabilize the course of the disease, but do not cure it.

According to Bahou, the results of the work provide important information about the hereditary predisposition to the development of hepatic cell carcinoma. In addition, the resulting experimental model of the disease can be used to test potential therapeutic agents.

Using oncohematological, genetic, pharmacological and pathological tests, the authors found that the Iqgap1 and Iqgap2 genes play functionally opposite roles in the pathogenesis of hepatic cell carcinoma. The removal of the Iqgap2 gene using a complex genetic technique led to the development of hepatic cell carcinoma in mice, which indicates the importance of the role of this gene in protecting against the development of liver cancer.

At the same time, the preservation of the related Iqgap1 gene led to the development of more aggressive forms of the disease, and its inactivation limited the aggressiveness of hepatic cell carcinoma developing in animals without the Iqgap2 gene.

Currently, the authors are conducting a similar genetic analysis of human liver tumors.

Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of ScienceDaily 04.03.2008

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version