Jan 25, 2023

Cancer’s Secret Weapon? Enzyme That Protects Against Viruses May Fuel Tumor Evolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

An enzyme that defends human cells against viruses can help drive cancer evolution towards greater malignancy by causing myriad mutations in cancer cells, according to a study led by investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine. The finding suggests that the enzyme may be a potential target for future cancer treatments.

In the new study, published recently in the journal Cancer Research, scientists used a preclinical model of bladder cancer to investigate the role of the enzyme called APOBEC3G in promoting the disease and found that it significantly increased the number of mutations in tumor cells, boosting the genetic diversity of bladder tumors and hastening mortality.

“Our findings suggest that APOBEC3G is a big contributor to bladder cancer evolution and should be considered as a target for future treatment strategies,” said study senior author Dr. Bishoy M. Faltas, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and of cell and developmental biology at Weill Cornell Medicine, and an oncologist who specializes in urothelial cancers at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

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