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WSU researchers discover mechanism leading from trichomoniasis to prostate cancer
Date:8/29/2012

eater likelihood of cancer in infected men.

This latest study, she says, "is providing a molecular mechanism that might explain that association."

Much of the study was done in a single building, WSU's Biotechnology and Life Sciences Building, and involved two of the more accomplished researchers on the Pullman campus.

"This is just coincidence. I've only been here five years," says Alderete. "And when I arrived here five years ago, I had no clue that we would be going in this kind of direction. But the more I read and the more we talked in the hallways, the more it became clear that, wait a minute, we may have something here between us."

WSU cancer researcher Nancy Magnuson is an expert on the protein PIM1, a promoter of cancer cell growth, and identified the protein in the cascade of proteins leading from trichomoniasis to prostate cancer. WSU molecular biologist Ray Reeves brought to bear his expertise in HMGA1. The protein turns genes on and off and ended up being the actor making sure other proteins in the trichomoniasis-to-cancer sequence stay on.

Alderete hopes knowledge of the mechanism will lead to better diagnosis and treatment.

"What this is also doing is telling the world, 'People, this is a latent infection,'" he says. "'You guys out there, if you've been exposed to it, you've got it in there, and we need now a diagnostic for you.'"
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Contact: John Alderete, WSU professor of molecular biosciences
alderete@vetmed.wsu.edu
509-335-8125
Washington State University
Source:Eurekalert

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