Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of brain cancer, and like many other cancers, its causes are still unknown. Since it is generally very malignant, researchers know that glioblastoma cells frequently reproduce to keep the tumor alive and help it grow, and the location of glioblastoma in the brain provides the cells with ample blood supply. Through their study of glioblastomas, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center recently discovered that the gene KLHL9 is a leading factor in the cause of glioblastomas.
A group of researchers from Columbia University Medical Center recently discovered that the gene KLHL9, when missing, can lead to the formation of glioblastomas. The researchers used a new computer algorithm called DIGGIT to analyze the KLHL9 gene regulatory and signaling networks. DIGGIT is able to trace a gene, in this case KLHL9, from the regulator gene that controls the function of the gene backwards to discover the genetic events and mutations that lead to cancer.
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia)
Andrea Califano, PhD, a leader of this study, said that “this algorithm adds a new dimension to our ability to identify the genetic causes of complex disease. When combined with other tools that our lab has developed, it will help identify many more genes that hold potential as genetic biomarkers of disease progression and targets for treatment.”
To test the KLHL9 gene, the Columbia University researchers reintroduced the gene into mice with glioblastoma tumors and found that the tumors could be suppressed. Now that researchers have an insight into how the gene affects this often deadly cancer, there is potential for researchers to use this discovery to form new treatments.
Along with glioblastoma, the researchers were also able to use the DIGGIT algorithm to identify mutations and variants that are linked to Alzheimer's and breast cancer. Being able to identify genetic drivers for these three diseases shows that the same system might be able to identify factors that lead to other diseases or cancers as well.
Columbia University is a nearly $600 million research market, actively working on life science research. Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full service event marketing and planning company that produces a semi-annual BioResearch Product Faire™ event near Columbia University every year. Please visit the links below to learn more about exhibiting your life science lab supplies at the upcoming 5th semi-annual event in March, or to find other shows in 2015.