Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a blood cancer striking mostly older individuals. Researchers have now identified a gene that can act as a tumor suppressor for AML.
The findings showed that expression of the protein-coding gene hnRNP K is significantly reduced in AML patients who carry a specific genetic deletion. Mice studies revealed that reduced activity of this gene was associated with blood cancer. This could be important for investigating how best to target treatment of AML.
Sean Post, assistant professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the US, said, "Our data implicates hnRNP K in the development of blood disorders and suggests it acts as a tumor suppressor. Both in vivo and in vitro results indicate that hnRNP K achieves this through regulation of key genetic pathways. Our study found that hnRNP K expression must be maintained for proper cellular regulation and to prevent tumor formation."
The study was published in Cancer Cell.