Cancer Genetics

Remodeling Gone Awry

Science Signaling  12 Oct 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 143, pp. ec317
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3143ec317

The identification of genes that are mutated at high frequency in human tumors can provide important clues to the molecular pathways that drive tumor growth, which in turn can potentially lead to more effective therapies. Jones et al. looked for such mutations in ovarian clear cell carcinoma, a rare but particularly lethal form of ovarian cancer. Of 42 tumors examined, 57% were found to harbor inactivating mutations in ARID1A, a gene coding for a subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, which functions as a master regulator of transcription factor action and gene expression. Thus, proteins associated with the epigenetic control of gene expression can contribute to the development of human cancer.

S. Jones, T.-L. Wang, I.-M. Shih, T.-L. Mao, K. Nakayama, R. Roden, R. Glas, D. Slamon, L. A. Diaz Jr., B. Vogelstein, K. W. Kinzler, V. E. Velculescu, N. Papadopoulos, Frequent mutations of chromatin remodeling gene ARID1A in ovarian clear cell carcinoma. Science 330, 228–231 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]