Progress, and Applications
of the Human Genome Project
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Role of Key Breast Cancer Gene Identified
Researchers Genevieve Nonet, Martha Stampfer, and Paul Yaswen at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Joe Gray, Koei Chin, and Colin Collins at the University of California, San Francisco, published an article focusing on the functional characterization of the gene ZNF217 in the February 15th issue of Cancer Research 61. The gene is located in a region of chromosome 20 found to have an increased copy number in many tumors, including 40% of breast cancer cell lines. Reintroduction of the ZNF217 gene into normal human breast cells in culture enables the cells to grow past the point at which they would normally stop. In addition to becoming immortal, the epithelial cells containing ZNF217 gain several other features characteristic of tumor cells, such as the ability to express telomerase. These results support the hypothesis that ZNF217 plays a role in breast cancer by allowing the cells to continue growing and accumulating other changes necessary for malignant progression.
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Last modified: Wednesday, October 29, 2003
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