New gene prevents multiple types of cancer

Armen Hareyan's picture
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A decades-old cancer mystery has been solved by researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). "We not only found a critical tumor suppressor gene, but have revealed a master switch for a tumor suppressive network that means more targeted and effective cancer therapy in the future," said CSHL Associate Professor Alea Mills, Ph.D. The study, headed by Mills, was published in the February issue of Cell.

Specifically, Mills' discovery identifies CHD5, a protein that prevents cancer, as a novel tumor suppressor, mapping to a specific portion of chromosome 1 known as 1p36. When CHD5 is not doing its job, the machinery within our cells that normally prevents cancer is switched off. The ability of CHD5 to function as a master switch for a tumor suppressive network suggests that this gene is responsible for a large number of diverse forms of human cancers. "CHD5 functions like a circuit breaker that regulates the tumor-preventing power in our cells

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