Navigation Links
Geisel researchers sift through 'junk' to find colorectal cancer clues
Date:5/3/2012

Two researchers at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth have helped to identify switches that can turn on or off genes associated with colorectal cancer. The finding offers clues about the development of colorectal cancer and couldpotentiallyprovide targets for new therapies. Jason Moore, Third Century Professor of genetics and the director of the Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences, and Richard Cowper-Sal.lari, a graduate student in Moore's lab, were part of a team that included researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic. The team published its findings in Science Express, the online prepublication site for the journal Science, on April 12.

Many studies of cancer and other diseases have looked for genetic variations that lead to disease. But for this study, Moore, Cowper-Sal.lari, and their colleagues examined sections of DNA that do not code for proteinssections that have sometimes been referred to as "junk" DNA. Long overlooked, junk DNA has gained more attention of late as it has become clear that it can regulate the expression of genes.

"We're now starting to assign function to what historically has been known as the junk DNAstuff in between genes that we weren't really sure what it did, if it did anything at all," Moore says. Proteins that bind to noncoding sections far away from a gene, Moore explains, can help turn that gene on or off.

The researchers looked at specific sections of noncoding DNA in nine colorectal cancer samples and three samples of healthy colon tissue. They found patterns in the sections of noncoding DNA that differed depending on whether the tissue was cancerous or healthy. They refer to these sections as variant enhancer loci (VELs). Cowper-Sal.lari says that the patterns they found are more reliable indicators of the presence of colorectal cancer than any currently known patterns of gene expression. "You get a very crisp signal," he says. The tumor samples were taken from patients at various stages of disease, adding to the strength of the finding.

Moore, who is also the associate director for bioinformatics at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, adds that what he and Cowper-Sal.lari added to the study was their ability to make sense of mountains of data by developing computer programs and algorithms.

"It's an exciting time in cancer research because we can now sequence entire human genomes and measure the genome on a massive scale, but what's lagging behind are the computational methodsthe software, the algorithms, the statistical approachesto allow us to make sense of this vast amount of information," Moore says. "The DNA sequencing technology to generate the data is moving a lot faster than the computational methods for making sense of it."

Cowper-Sal.lari adds that the intense computation required to do the analysis was only possible because of access to DiscoveryDartmouth's supercomputing cluster.

There are a number of directions the research could go in the future. Cowper-Sal.lari says that if they are able to look at additional samples and find the same patterns, then "the genes that are the targets of these VELs are going to be really good potential therapeutic targets for colorectal cancer."

"That's the ultimate goalto develop drugs," Moore says. "If we can understand the biology of how these genes are turned on and off in cancer, then we can develop drugs to target them and turn them on or off."


'/>"/>

Contact: Derik Hertel
derik.hertel@dartmouth.edu
603-650-1211
Dartmouth College
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
2. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
3. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
4. Researchers Who Discovered First Genes for Stuttering will Present Findings to the National Stuttering Association
5. Researchers create drug to keep tumor growth switched off
6. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
7. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
8. Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
9. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
10. Researchers chart genomic map spanning over 2 dozen cancers
11. Researchers discover second protective role for tumor-suppressor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Geisel researchers sift through 'junk' to find colorectal cancer clues
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... "As a doctor of lung medicine ... catheters available on the market," said an inventor from Center Valley, Pa. "My idea ... the patient." , He developed the patent-pending PLEURAL SAFE-t-STAT CATHETER KIT to offer an ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... The Karen Miller ... to communities in the greater Birmingham area, is joining the Chris Hammond Youth ... people in the region. , The Chris Hammond Youth Foundation maintains athletic facilities ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... Bernard R. Bach, Jr., MD, orthopaedic ... American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine (AOSSM) , received the 2017 Robert E. ... Meeting in Toronto, Canada. This prestigious award is given annually to honor those who ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... MO (PRWEB) , ... July 21, 2017 , ... “Kids ... knowing how to tie their shoes,” says Suzanne Tucker, Founder of St. Louis-based positive ... Time-In Toolkit, which launches on Kickstarter on Monday, July 21st. , The kit ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... How physicians ... on the rise, say researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic ... “The combination of evaluating the patterns of change in concussion symptom presentation, diagnostic ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... July 20, 2017  Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) released this ... M.D., following today,s Institute for Clinical and Economic Review,s (ICER) ... the effectiveness and value of abuse-deterrent formulations (ADF) of opioids. ... roundtable at the meeting. ... cost benefit to the use of abuse-deterrent formulations (ADF) in ...
(Date:7/14/2017)... Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) will announce its ... its senior management team will host a conference call and webcast ... The dial-in number to access the call is U.S./ ... passcode is 45397076. Please dial in 10 minutes prior to the ... replay of the call will be available from August 8, 2017 ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , July 13, 2017  New York ... watchers of pharmaceutical markets should be aware of.  From new ... These trends are detailed in a recently completed study, ... following: 1.  Age-Driven ... years, we have been aware of the impact the growing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: