Breast-cancer Gene Keeps DNA Under Wraps: Nature News

September 9, 2011

Nature News

The protein encoded by the tumor-suppressor gene BRCA1 may keep breast and ovarian cancer in check by preventing transcription of repetitive DNA sequences, says a study published this week in Nature. This explanation brings together many disparate theories about how the gene functions and could also shed light on how other tumor suppressors work. The study may also have much broader significance, commented Roger Greenberg, PhD, assistant professor of Cancer Biology, in Nature News. In January, a Harvard group found DNA repeats produced in many different types of tumour tissue, including those that lack BRCA1 mutations, suggesting that multiple pathways have gone awry in cancer to impair the maintenace of tightly packed DNA called heterochromatin, which is important in gene expression... Read More