Wednesday November 13, 2019

Girls may inherit ovarian cancer gene from fathers

The researchers collected information about pairs of granddaughters and grandmothers and sequenced portions of the X-chromosome from 186 women affected by cancer

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A mutation on the X-chromosome may also advance ovarian cancer's age of onset by more than six years. Wikimedia Commons
A mutation on the X-chromosome may also advance ovarian cancer's age of onset by more than six years. Wikimedia Commons

Scientists have found a gene responsible for ovarian cancer that can be passed down from fathers to their daughters.

The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls.

A mutation on the X-chromosome may also advance ovarian cancer’s age of onset by more than six years.

“Our study may explain why we find families with multiple affected daughters: because a dad’s chromosomes determine the sex of his children, all of his daughters have to carry the same X-chromosome genes,” said Kevin H.

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Eng, Assistant Professor at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Buffalo, the US.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, stated that the genetic mutation inherited from the paternal grandmothers were also associated with higher rates of prostate cancer in fathers and sons as well.

The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls. Wikimedia Commons
The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls. Wikimedia Commons

The researchers collected information about pairs of granddaughters and grandmothers and sequenced portions of the X-chromosome from 186 women affected by cancer.

The results proposed that a gene on the X-chromosome may contribute to a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, independently of other known susceptibility genes, such as the BRCA genes.

This observation suggests that there may be many cases of seemingly sporadic ovarian cancer that are actually inherited, and may lead to improved cancer screening and better genetic risk assessment.

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However, future studies will be needed to confirm the identity and function of this gene.

“What we have to do next is make sure we have the right gene by sequencing more families. This finding has sparked a lot of discussion within our group about how to find these X-linked families,” Eng said.

“It’s an all-or-none kind of pattern: A family with three daughters who all have ovarian cancer is more likely to be driven by inherited X mutations than by BRCA mutations,” Eng noted. (IANS)

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Study Says that Some of the Deadly Skin Cancers may Originate in Hair Follicles

The study was conducted in genetically engineered mice, with the results confirmed in human tissue samples

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Skin Cancers
The study addresses the stem cells that mature into melanocytes, cells that make the protein pigment melanin, which protects skin by absorbing some of the sun's ultraviolet, DNA-damaging rays causing Skin Cancers. Pixabay

 Some of the most deadly Skin Cancers may start in stem cells that lend colour to hair, and originate in hair follicles rather than in skin layers, says a new study.

Hair follicles are complex organs that reside within skin layers. It is there that immature pigment-making cells develop cancer-causing genetic changes – and in a second step – are exposed to normal hair growth signals.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found that unlike their normal counterparts, newly cancerous pigment stem cells then migrate up and out of the follicles to establish melanomas in nearby surface skin before spreading deeper.

The study was conducted in genetically engineered mice, with the results confirmed in human tissue samples.

“By confirming that oncogenic pigment cells in hair follicles are a bona fide source of melanoma, we have a better understanding of this cancer’s biology and new ideas about how to counter it,” said study author Mayumi Ito Suzuki, Associate Professor at New York University.

Skin Cancers
Some of the most deadly Skin Cancers may start in stem cells that lend colour to hair, and originate in hair follicles rather than in skin layers, says a new study. Pixabay

The study addresses the stem cells that mature into melanocytes, cells that make the protein pigment melanin, which protects skin by absorbing some of the sun’s ultraviolet, DNA-damaging rays.

By absorbing some wavelengths of visible light, but reflecting others, pigments “create” hair colour.

In a series of elegant steps, the research team established a new mouse model for the study of melanoma, one engineered such that the team could edit genes in follicular melanocyte stem cells only (the c-Kit-CreER mouse).

This capability enabled researchers to introduce genetic changes that made only melanoctye stem cells – and their descendants destined to form melanomas – glow no matter where they travelled.

Able to accurately track a key stem cell type for the first time, the authors confirmed that melanoma cells can arise from melanocyte stem cells, which abnormally migrate up and out of hair follicles to enter the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin.

The team then tracked the same cells as they multiplied there, and then moved deeper into the skin layer called the dermis.

Cancer
Hair follicles are complex organs that reside within skin layers. It is there that immature pigment-making cells develop Cancer-causing genetic changes – and in a second step – are exposed to normal hair growth signals. Pixabay

Once there, the cells shed the markers and pigment that went with their follicular origins, presumably in response to local signals.

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They also acquired signatures similar to nerve cells (neurons) and skin cells (mesenchymal), molecular characteristics “almost exactly like” those noted in examinations of human melanoma tissue. (IANS)