Navigation Links
Epigenetic causes of prostate cancer
Date:9/5/2012

This press release is available in German.

In about half of all prostate tumours, there are two genetic areas that are fused with one another. When this is not the case, the exact way cancer cells originate in prostate tumours was not clear until now. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, in cooperation with a team of international researchers, were able to show that the genesis of this fusion-negative prostate cancer has epigenetic causes: methyl groups are distributed differently over the DNA in the cancer cells than in healthy cells. Thanks to this knowledge, physicians may be able to achieve greater specificity in treating prostate tumours in future. In addition, the aberrant DNA methylations can be used as a potential biomarker for identifying prostate cancer.

About half of all cases of prostate cancer originate through fusion of two genetic areas. As a result, the ERG gene is activated in these fusion-positive cells and prostate cells propagate, leading to tumourigenesis. Fusion-positive prostate cancer can be treated with PARP1 inhibitors that turn off the repair system of the tumour cells.

However, it has not been clear how prostate tumours without a fused ERG gene acquire their tumourigenic potential. Now, a team of Max Planck scientists headed by Michal-Ruth Schweiger from the Department of Vertebrate Genomics have investigated the global DNA methylation pattern i.e. at which locations the DNA possesses methyl groups in fusion-negative tumours. They have discovered that, compared to fusion-positive tumours, the fusion-negative tumours display more aberrant DNA methylations, which are most likely causative for the malignant transformation of prostate cells.

Moreover, the scientists found large amounts of the enzyme EZH2 in the cells of the tumours. This histone methyltransferase couples histone and DNA methylation and also transfers methyl groups to the DNA. Further functional analyses link EZH2 to the aberrant DNA methylations in fusion gene negative tumours. As reason for the significantly increased amount of EZH2 the scientists found very low concentrations of miRNA-26a, a micro-RNA that targets EZH2 for degradation.


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr. Michal-Ruth Schweiger
mschweig@molgen.mpg.de
49-308-413-1339
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sick from stress? Blame your mom… and epigenetics
2. Scientists discover an epigenetic cause of osteoarthritis
3. Not by DNA alone: How the epigenetics revolution is fostering new medicines
4. Epigenetics and epidemiology -- hip, hype and science
5. Epigenetic signatures direct the repair potential of reprogrammed cells
6. Too much protein HUWE1 causes intellectual disability
7. Vitamin B12 deficiency: Tracing the causes
8. Vitamin B12 deficiency: Tracking the genetic causes
9. Warming causes more extreme shifts of the Southern Hemispheres largest rain band
10. Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers discover elusive gene that causes a form of blindness from birth
11. Study points to causes of high dolphin deaths in Gulf of Mexico
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/27/2017)... --  Strategic Cyber Ventures , the industry,s first cybersecurity ... million investment in  Polarity , the first commercial human ... based and is led by cybersecurity veterans Tom ... Gula , also a longtime cybersecurity veteran and founder ... A round of funding. This new funding will be ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... Der weltweite Biobanking-Sektor wird bis ... Gespräch mit mehr als 50 Vertretern aus verschiedenen Branchen wurde ... um diese Prognose zu realisieren. ... Zu den Schwierigkeiten ... Mittel für die Biobank, die Implementierung Zeit sparender Technologien, ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Commercial Aspects" to their offering. ... Biomarkers play an important ... selection of treatment as well for monitoring the results. There ... modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies and next generation sequencing are also ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017  GlobeImmune, Inc. today announced it has ... of 12,835,490 shares of its common stock to NantCell, ... connection with the sale of its common stock, NantCell ... issue to GlobeImmune 200,000 shares, an estimated $2.0 million ... "We are pleased to enter into this strategic agreement ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017 NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage  ... Cancer ... significant strain on health care systems, in terms of costs ... so too does the development of innovative and efficient therapies ... Among the many types of cancer treatments, a growing number ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies ... Dr. Sigmund “Sig” Floyd as Vice President ? Global Business Development. Dr. Floyd ... , “Dr. Floyd’s career has spanned 30 years in the chemicals and equipment ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017  UBM and the Massachusetts Medical Device ... partnership and the third annual Massachusetts Medtech Week. Massachusetts ... st Annual MassMEDIC Conference held in conjunction ... 2017. MassMEDIC will feature a ... and CEO, Scott Whitaker , at its ...
Breaking Biology Technology: