Blood cancer: a gene identified as an oncogene in B-cell lymphoma

A protein that plays an important role in the development of the most common blood cancer, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, has just been identified.

Cancer research continues to advance. A recent team led by the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) in the United States made a major discovery: a significant number of HnRNP K genes may cause diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. What is HnRNP K?

From his full name Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein, It's about a RNA binding protein (ribonucleic acid), a biological molecule whose role is precisely to synthesize proteins, but which is also involved in chemical reactions of cellular metabolism.

It has already been discovered in previous studies that this protein is much more prevalent in people with cancer. Today, this new study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,proves that overexpression of HnRNP K leads to more virulent cancers and decreases the chances of survival.

A study conducted on genetically modified mice

To carry out this study, researchers are using mice previously genetically engineered to over-express HnRNP K. Thus, researchers were able to directly examine the effect of HnRNP K in the case of large-cell B-cell lymphoma. "Overexpression of HnRNP K in transgenic mice has led to the development of lymphoma and reduced survival," says Miguel Gallardo, researcher and coordinator of the unit that conducted the research.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is an aggressive cancer because its tumor mass increases very rapidly, and recurrences are very frequent. Nevertheless, thanks to advances in research and therapy CAR-T Cells, recently arrived in France, it can be better treated. The discovery of this pro-oncogene may therefore make it possible to develop new methods of evaluating patients and new therapeutic approaches to increase the chances of remission.

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