The role of the protein PRDM6 in thoracic cancer and lymphoma

Mutations in the PRDM6 gene is involved in thoracic cancer and lymphomas. Finding the cancerous properties of the resultant PRDM6 protein could lead to the development of a new cancer drug.

Genes are made out of DNA and contains the information needed for making proteins vital for the smooth running of cellular activities. In each cell, DNA is organised in the same way into 46 chromosomes. Sometimes a piece breaks apart from one chromosome and joins another chromosome. Called translocation, this could result in abnormal amounts or the wrong protein to be made. This can then lead to cancer.

The PRDM6 protein could be targeted in cancer treatment

A translocation involving the PRDM6 gene is associated with lymphoma. As a result, too much PRDM6 protein is made, leading to cancer in the patient. This protein is also found in abnormal amounts in the cells of patients with thoracic cancer (cancer of the lungs or chest region). From this, it is thought that PRDM6 may have a general role in cancer.

Funding by Hope was used to investigate the role of PRDM6. By finding out what goes wrong when too much is made and how to stop this, cancer patients with abnormal levels of the protein can be offered personalised therapies. This will enable the replacement of the current effective but toxic chemotherapy drugs with alternative tailored medicines, resulting in higher efficiency and milder side effects.

This award of £5,000 was awarded to Dr Iidiko Gyory at the Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Studies at the University of Leicester and is part of Hope’s funding of priority research in the new Leicester Centre of Excellence.

More information (links open in a new tab):

Lymphoma

Thoracic cancer

Chromosomal translocations for personalised medicine