Prof. Hao Zhou,
Associate Professor at CRI and of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UT
said that they often view mutations mostly from the
perspective of cancer-causing mutations but we still haven't
quite figured out how some somatic mutations can actually promote tissue
Corresponding author Dr.
Tao Wang, Assistant Professor of Population and Data Sciences and in the Center
for the Genetics of Host Defense at UT Southwestern; said that while cancer
sequencing has become an established procedure, there is still the not
set method for sequencing mutations in normal tissues.
The team then set out to
develop their own methods to identify mutations in normal tissues. They also
worked on developing computational methods to analyze sequencing data generated
through the study.
Co-authors Drs. Adam
Yopp, Associate Professor of Surgery at UTSW, and Amit Singal, Associate
Professor of Internal Medicine and Population and Data Sciences at UTSW found
hundreds of mutations in liver samples from patients at Parkland hospital. They
used a CRISPR method to test out the impact of mouse liver mutations on
tissue regeneration and found that some mutations actually promote healing.
Tissue Healing and Regeneration
Joyce Jio, a graduate
student in Zhou's lab developed a CRISPR screening method
to detect a
number of liver mutations in patient samples as well as examine the impact of
such mutations. The team found that several mutations in the liver provided
liver cells with fitness advantages and some mutated genes even lead to tissue
healing and regeneration instead of causing cancers. According to Zhu, certain
mutations occur in order to regenerate tissues during chronic injury and
inflammation minus cancer-causing effects.
These results may bode
well for those with chronic liver disease
currently has few therapeutic options. Patients with this disease are at a
greater risk of developing liver cancer
. Understanding liver mutations can help
doctors understand and prevent the risk of liver cancers. In the future,
scientists can build upon this research to develop therapies to stall the
progression of liver disease.
The study was funded by
Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), Stand Up To Cancer,
the Pollock Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and other donors to
the Children's Medical Center Foundation.
- Researchers show that mutations in human livers can promote tissue regeneration - (https://www.utsouthwestern.edu/newsroom/articles/year-2019/tissue-regeneration.html)