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Gene dose affects tumor growth
Date:1/3/2008

een implicated as a cause of cancer. However, some research suggested that Ets2 activity might be involved in pathways that cause cells to die.

They then repeated their genetic crosses, this time with mice that had three, two or one copy of the Ets2 gene only. Once again, mice that were trisomic for 33 genes (including Ets2) had fewer tumors, but mice that were trisomic for 32 of these genes but had the normal two copies of Ets2 had a tumor number similar to control (non-trisomic) mice. Mice with just one copy of Ets2 developed more tumors.

These results support studies concluding that people with Down syndrome get fewer cancers of many types. While weve only shown this effect with Ets2 and a particular type of colon tumor in mice, we think that the human Ets2 gene might contribute to resistance toward other types of cancer, based on what happens in Down syndrome, says Reeves.

Our findings are significant because they broaden the definition of an oncogene or tumor suppressor gene to include the effect of gene dosage, says Michael Ostrowski, an Ohio State cancer researcher and Ets2 expert who developed the mouse models used in this study. They also suggest that finding ways to increase the expression of genes such as Ets2 might lead to a new strategy for treating or controlling cancer, he says.


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Contact: Audrey Huang
audrey@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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