– Japanese Researchers Identified a Gene Involved in Leukemia Suppression –
A team of researchers, including scientists from Hiroshima University, has identified a gene that is involved in the suppression of the onset of leukemia. Leukemia and other types of blood cancers can be caused by DNA damage after exposure to radiation. The researchers examined patients who had developed symptoms of leukemia, and other diseases affecting blood cells, within a few years to several decades after the 1945 atomic bombing. They were able to identify changes in the copy number of the Samd9L gene, which plays a role in suppressing cell proliferation.
“Many atomic-bomb survivors develop leukemia more than half a century after the bombing. We have identified a reason why (radiation exposures) have a long-term effect,” said Toshiya Inaba, professor at Hiroshima University involved in the study.
The team produced a group of mice with a reduced number of Samd9L for observation. It found that approximately 55% of the mice entirely deficient in the gene or with only one copy of Samd9L died from leukemia in about two years. Among the normal group which has two copies Samd9L two, 7% developed blood cancer diseases, which was about the same rate as other types of cancers. The findings prompted the team to conclude that the gene Samd9L is responsible for suppressing leukemia. Therefore, Samd9L is an interesting candidate for future research of blood cancer treatment.
The reference article was published in the journal Cancer Cell.