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TGen/Mayo Clinic/Arizona Cancer Center study finds gene associated with aggressive skin cancer
Date:9/28/2010

ybirdization to identify genetic deletions in a portion of DNA that normally harbors the INPP5A gene.

INPP5A, or inositol polyphosphate-5-phosphatase, interacts within the chemical pathways of cells to limit their proliferation, suggesting that this gene may play a key role as a tumor suppressor. In other studies, the loss of genetic material in the chromosome that includes INPP5A has been associated with brain tumors and leukemias.

Genetic mutations contribute to the development and progression of cancer by either stimulating cells to multiply too rapidly, or interfering with normal processes that allow them to die off, according to the paper, Loss of Inositol Polyphosphate-5-Phosphatase is an Early Event in Development of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

"Understanding the precise mechanisms of INPP5A loss, and exploring the connection between INPP5A and uncontrolled cellular proliferation, could provide us with new insights," said Dr. Michael Bittner, Co-Director of TGen's Computational Biology Division, and the study's senior author. "Continuing studies could lead to new drug targets that could contribute to better treatments for patients with SCC, and some day perhaps even help prevent this type of skin cancer."

Tissue samples and research collaborations for the study were provided by: the University of Arizona's Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson; the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Tucson; Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago; and Mayo Clinic.

Dr. David S. Alberts, Director of the Arizona Cancer Center, is the Principal Investigator for a cancer prevention grant from the National Institutes of Health, which provided the main funding for the study.

"Observed deletions in INPP5A represents a highly selected, non-random genetic event in SCC, giving researchers confidence that this is a biomarker with great potential for clinical study and patient benefit," said Dr. Alberts, anoth
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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