Navigation Links
Our own treacherous immune genes can cause cancer after viral infection
Date:6/5/2014

HPV (human papillomavirus) infection is widely known to induce cancer. Many of the mutations that cause this virally-induced cancer are caused by a family of genes that normally combats viral infections, finds new UCL (University College London) research.

This raises the possibility of developing drugs to regulate the activity of these genes to prevent HPV-associated cancers from developing and reduce the ability of existing cancers to evolve resistance to treatments.

The research, published in Cell Reports, shows for the first time that genes from the 'APOBEC' family, which help to fight off viral infection, actually cause mutations that lead to HPV-associated cancer. This research was funded by the Rosetrees Trust, a charity dedicated to supporting pioneering medical research, with additional funding from the Debbie Fund and Cancer Research UK.

"Genes from the APOBEC family encode proteins that modify the DNA of invading viruses, causing mutations that prevent the virus from replicating," explains senior author Dr Tim Fenton, of the Tumour Virus team at the UCL Cancer Institute. "We now provide evidence that they can also cause mutations in our own DNA after HPV infection, leading to cancer."

Over 99% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV infection, and HPV is responsible for approximately 26,700 new cases of cancer each year in the United States. Previous genetic studies have shown associations between APOBEC genes and cancer.

"Our results show that after HPV infection, APOBEC genes cause very specific mutations, with very high frequency in a cancer-promoting gene called PIK3CA, thus leading to tumour development," says co-lead author Dr Stephen Henderson of the Bill Lyons Informatics Centre at the UCL Cancer Institute. "It is not clear why HPV infection causes the APOBEC genes to misbehave and mutate PIK3CA. It could be that the body responds to HPV infection with increased ABOBEC activity, simply making 'friendly fire' more likely. Alternatively, there may well be something about the virus that causes the APOBEC response to wrongly target the body's own genes for mutation."

Mutated PIK3CA (p110α) protein is known to play a key role in the development of a range of cancers, so it is a hot target for new drugs. The new research could explain why particular PIK3CA mutation variants are so commonly found in HPV-associated cancers.

"While it is too early to consider targeting APOBEC genes to prevent tumour formation, it is nonetheless fascinating to work out how HPV drives tumour formation through their activity," says co-lead author Ankur Chakravarthy, a PhD student in the Tumour Virus team. The team's aim is now to learn what happens following HPV infection of cells in which APOBEC genes have been deleted.

The research could also inform screening procedures, as there are variants of particular APOBEC genes that are known to affect cancer risk. For example, a variant of the specific gene APOBEC3B is known to approximately double breast cancer risk. This variant is common in East Asia, with approximately 80% of Indonesians carrying the gene variant. By contrast, only around 2% of the African population carry this variant.

"Previous studies have shown that APOBECs cause mutations in a range of cancers but our finding that they mutate key cancer genes implicates them as drivers of tumour development, particularly in HPV-associated cancers. It will be interesting to see whether such APOBEC variants can predict the risk of developing cancer after HPV infections," says Dr Tim Fenton. "If at-risk groups could be identified by genetic testing, this could have important implications for HPV screening and vaccination programmes."


'/>"/>

Contact: Harry Dayantis
h.dayantis@ucl.ac.uk
44-020-310-83844
University College London
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New therapies harness power of the immune system against cancer
2. Immune therapy for advanced bladder cancer yields promising results
3. New tick-borne disease threatens primarily immune suppressed persons
4. 2014 Avant-Garde Awards focus on strengthening the immune system
5. UBC scientists find new way to mobilize immune system against viruses
6. A form of immune therapy might be effective for multiple myeloma
7. Immune cells found to fuel colon cancer stem cells
8. Autoimmune diseases may succumb to new drug strategy
9. Penn researchers find link between sleep and immune function in fruit flies
10. Study sheds light on how the immune system protects children from malaria
11. Is Parkinsons an autoimmune disease?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids this ... by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited about ... ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: ... faced every danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From ... Carole is a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors ... a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January ... Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, a ... health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an agreement, ... been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health ... Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired ... Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in ... immune-engineering today announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology ... personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 ... to enabling technologies to the new precision immunotherapy ... EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ., a recognized ... announced that it has been ranked #1 by its users ... Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the ... hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds and holds one ... technology user survey history. ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... reviews on the independent review site Consumer Affairs have ... hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle Ear ™, Beltone™, ... ... Aids ... that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids directly to consumers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: