Researchers Discover a Set of Proteins that Cause Many Cancer-Related Mutations

July 2013, Vol 4, No 6 - Value Propositions

A new study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health shows that a set of proteins in the body produces a large number of mutations in human DNA, indicating that these naturally produced mutations are just as powerful as cancer-causing agents in producing tumors. The proteins are part of the apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like (APOBEC) cytidine deaminases. The APOBEC mutations can outnumber all other mutations in some cancers. “The presence of APOBEC clusters in the genome of tumor cells indicates that APOBEC enzymes could also have caused many mutations across the genome,” said Dmitry Gordenin, PhD, Associate Scientist at the National Institute of Environmental Health. It remains to be seen how this new discovery will be translated into drug development. National Institutes of Health; July 14, 2013