About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Cancer Risk Associated With Genetic Changes That Occur Due to Ageing

by Shravanthi Vikram on February 24, 2018 at 3:28 PM
Font : A-A+

Cancer Risk Associated With Genetic Changes That Occur Due to Ageing

The tumor promoting genes in cells undergo changes mainly due to DNA methylation that occur when the rogue cells escape the normal deterioration process called senescence. These act as biomarkers in selecting the subset of genes that undergo changes during normal ageing and early tumor development. These findings were presented by a research team at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

The work, published in the Feb. 12 issue of Cancer Cell, may help refine biomarkers of cancer risk. Screening for these genes may help stratify, for every age group, individuals with the highest risk for cancer development, the authors say.

Advertisement


"Aging is probably the leading risk factor for most common cancers," says coauthor Stephen Baylin, M.D., the Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research at the Kimmel Cancer Center. As epigenetic changes are reversible in laboratory models, some scientists are considering the possibility of modifying this risk factor as a potential way to modulate aging as a cancer risk factor. "Maybe you won't find the Ponce de León Fountain of Youth, but if you could dampen down the risk of cancer for every decade you age, that could be huge," says Baylin.

For the study, investigators studied patterns of DNA methylation, a process by which cells add tiny methyl chemical groups to a beginning region of a gene's DNA sequence, often silencing the gene's activation. They took fibroblast cells from human foreskin samples and followed an established, three-step laboratory process called Weinberg's classical transformation system to convert the cells to cancer cells. The process includes infecting cells with genes known to induce tumor development. The scientists also injected the early transformed cells into mice to monitor their progression. They took a second group of fibroblast cells and let them naturally mature into senescence. The researchers followed methylation changes observed in both groups of cells over time.
Advertisement

"Senescence is a very well-known, normal aging process that is actually an antitumor mechanism. It occurs when cells perceive an excess of DNA damage, when cells undergo too many cell divisions or when they experience cancer development-related stress. So it was puzzling to us how the senescence process could lead to the formation of tumors," says senior study leader Hariharan Easwaran, Ph.D., assistant professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

To solve the mystery, Easwaran, Baylin and collaborators began mapping the evolution of epigenetic DNA methylation alterations during senescence and transformation. They found that although the alterations appeared similar between senescent cells and transformed cells, the way they evolved and the genes that got methylated were different for the most part.

The researchers found that DNA methylation that evolved during senescence was very programmed, so much so that replicates of the senescence process in different petri dishes all had the same epigenetic pattern, Easwaran says. Independent replicates of the transformation process, by contrast, appeared very stochastic, or random.

In addition, the transformation process primarily involved regulator genes that are critical for cancers to maintain the characteristics of a cancer cell, Baylin says. In comparison, senescence involves a number of metabolic process genes.

In additional experiments, Wenbing Xie, Ph.D., the study's lead author, could not coax senescent cells into becoming transformed cells, serving as a protection against cancer development, and identified a subset of transformation-associated methylated genes that were most prone to get methylated during early tumor formation and during aging. In future work, the researchers will explore tissue-specific patterns of DNA methylation gains for the senescence and transformation classes of genes, and hope to use that to devise strategies for determining age-associated risk-stratification of tumor development.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Fermented Skin Care
Television Binge-Watching May Boost the Risk of Deadly Blood Clots
Western Diet may Augment the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cancer and Homeopathy Anti-ageing and Benefits of Red Wine Genetics and Stem Cells Cancer Facts Ageing and Sleep Ageing Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Christianson Syndrome Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases 

Recommended Reading
Cervical Cancer
Cancer cervix refers to cancerous growth in the cervix and usually occurs in the transition called ...
Physical Activity Boosts Cognition in Breast Cancer Survivors
Women who exercise have a significant improvement in cognitive processing speed and some ......
Cholesterol-like Molecules Affect Body’s Defense Against Cancer
Immune cells that play an important role in our defense against cancer are fueled by a protein but ....
New Cancer-Causing Pathway Identified That Causes Leukemia
The DNA of immature blood cells, mainly white cells, becomes damaged in some way. This abnormality ....
Ageing and Sleep
Sleep is a barometer of good health in the elderly. Sleep problems in the elderly are controlled by ...
Anti-Ageing and Benefits of Red Wine
Ageing process has always been an enigma. Recent research indicates that red wine could delay the .....
Christianson Syndrome
Christianson syndrome is a condition that occurs due to mutations (abnormal changes) in the gene SLC...
Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases
Cigarette smoking, unhealthy diets, overuse of alcohol, and physical inactivity are some of the most...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)