Genes of different importance for brain cancer

Two genes play important roles for the formation of malignant cancer in the brain. One gene prevents the formation of the tumour, while another gene promotes the tumour. This is shown in a new dissertation at Umeå University, Sweden.

“Understanding the importance of the genes to hold back malignant tumours can hopefully be of importance in the long term for cancer treatment,” says Mahmood Faraz, PhD student at the Department of Radiation Sciences at Umeå University.

In his dissertation, Mahmood Faraz focused on the genes LRIG1 and LRIG2. They have their names of leucine-rich repeats and immunoglobulin-like domain proteins. The fact that these genes play a role in cancer is known since before, but their molecular mechanisms have so far been unclear. Several research groups around the world have for many years been trying to explain this mechanism.

By experimenting with mice, Håkan Hedman’s research group in Umeå has shown that the LRIG1 gene acts as a tumour suppressor, that is, the gene counteracts the formation of tumours in the mice’s brains. On the other hand, the other studied gene, LRIG2, appears to promote malignant brain tumour.

In Mahmood Faraz’s thesis it was shown that the tumour-inhibitory effect of


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