Gene in brain linked to kidney cancer

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A link has been discovered between a gene involved in brain development and the growth of renal cell carcinoma. Research published in the journal Cancer Research reveals that the gene NPTX2, already known for its healthy involvement in the brain, can also be tied to the most common form of kidney cancer. Renal cell carcinoma is typically fatal and has a low (10%) five-year survival rate.

Lead researcher and student, Christina von Roemeling, based at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, used genomic profiling to review samples from nearly 100 kidney cancer patients for over-expressed and under-expressed genes as compared to normal kidney tissue samples. Additional research narrowed the field from some 200 altered genes to 31 genes that had a larger effect on the cancer's growth and/or metastasis. The over-expressed NPTX2 protein is secreted from the cell and attaches itself to the kidney cancer cell membrane, joining with the GluR4 protein. The effect of the brain gene on GluR4 promotes bonding and acts as an easy pathway for calcium, which in turn promotes cancer growth and metastasis.

Gene in brain linked to kidney cancer
Gene in brain linked to kidney cancer
A gene known to control brain growth and development is heavily involved in promoting clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, researchers from Mayo Clinic in Florida are reporting. Their study, published in Cancer Research, reveals that the gene NPTX2, plays an essential role in this cancer type, which is resistant to common chemotherapy and has a five-year overall survival rate of less than 10 percent in patients with metastatic disease.
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