Phosphatase Culprits in Cancer

Science's STKE  25 May 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 234, pp. tw189
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2342004TW189

The identification of genes that are mutated in cancer cells can provide important clues to tumor pathogenesis. Working with a large collection of human colorectal tumors and matched normal tissue, Wang et al. have systematically sequenced the entire family of genes coding for an important group of cellular signaling enzymes called protein tyrosine phosphatases. Sequence alterations in phosphatase genes were found in about 25% of the tumors, and biochemical analysis confirmed that at least a subset of these alterations had functional effects on phosphatase activity. In addition to identifying potential tumor suppressor genes, this comprehensive sequencing approach may have future applications in the design of personalized cancer therapy.

Z. Wang, D. Shen, D. W. Parsons, A. Bardelli, J. Sager, S. Szabo, J. Ptak, N. Silliman, B. A. Peters, M. S. van der Heijden, G. Parmigiani, H. Yan, T.-L. Wang, G. Riggins, S. M. Powell, J. K. V. Willson, S. Markowitz, K. Kinzler, B. Vogelstein, V. E. Velculescu, Mutational analysis of the tyrosine phosphatome in colorectal cancers. Science 304, 1164-1166 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]