Navigation Links
Epigenetic causes of prostate cancer

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

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:
(Date:4/19/2016)... DUBAI , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... can be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system ... in the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface ... requirements of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions ... the ID readers into the building installations offer considerable ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  ,      ... gait biometrics market is expected to grow at ... Gait analysis generates multiple variables such ... compute factors that are not or cannot be ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... CHICAGO , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can ... weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they ... quick and convenient visit to a local retail location ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the z-dimension of 8.5 ... end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. Z-dimension or ... the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow cell product lines ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS ... the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, ... proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 A person commits a crime, and the ... track the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne ... Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria ... far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, ... foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MONICA, Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation ... pioneer increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the ... institutions across 15 countries. Read More About the Class ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: