Gene found only in men is altered by a chemical process, which is in turn linked to aggressive forms of melanoma

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

New scientific evidence that may shed light on why men are more likely than women to develop aggressive forms of skin cancer has been published in Carcinogenesis. The research carried out by scientists in UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research shows that a gene found only in men is altered by a chemical process, which is in turn linked to aggressive forms of melanoma.

Dr William Gallagher, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science and UCD Conway Institute has led the work of a team of researchers who are trying to identify potential biological markers that could flag aggressive forms of melanoma. Using the latest gene chip technology, their work has focused on 66 genes that undergo changes as a melanoma moves from a non-aggressive to an aggressive state. Dr Gallagher and his team have discovered that a common feature among a significant percentage of these genes is that they have been chemically altered by a process called DNA methylation.

One of these genes turned off by this process, TSPY, is located only on the male Y chromosome and, for the first time, may provide a molecular clue to the commonly held belief that men are not only more likely to develop melanoma but that it tends to be more aggressive.

The Carcinogenesis paper also describes how this group of scientists have slowed tumour growth by treating skin cancer cells with an agent called DAC (2'-deoxy-5-azacytidine), which turned back on the TSPY gene and others in the group of 66 being studied. Commenting on the finding, Dr Gallagher said, “DAC is now being evaluated in a wide variety of clinical trials worldwide, with the TSPY gene perhaps being a useful biomarker of treatment for patients receiving this candidate drug”.

Dr Gallagher has been working closely on this project with an expert in DNA methylation, Spanish scientist Dr Manel Esteller, Director of the Epigenetics Laboratory at the Spanish National Cancer Center (CNIO).

http://www.ucd.ie/conway/

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
MUTYH gene mutation linked to increased risk of various solid tumors