Study shows human-specific connection between advanced cancers and a gene

Humans are more prone to develop carcinomas compared with our closest evolutionary cousins, the great apes. These cancers begin in the epithelial cells of the skin or the tissue that covers the surface of internal organs and glands, and they include prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers.

A new study published in FASEB BioAdvances reveals a human-specific connection between advanced carcinomas and a gene called SIGLEC12.

Additional studies related to this gene, which has several uniquely human features, and the protein it encodes (called Siglec-XII) could potentially lead to broad-based advances in cancer prognostics, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

Siglecs are typically expressed in immune cells, and it was surprising to find Siglec-XII on epithelial surfaces. While a mutant form of Siglec-XII is expressed only in about 30% of normal humans, it was found to be present in a high proportion of advanced carcinomas. This could help explain why humans are more prone to aggressive carcinomas, which are rare in chimpanzees."

Nissi Varki, MD, Study Co-Author, Professor of Pathology, University of California San Diego School of Medicine

Journal reference:

Siddiqui, S.S., et al. (2020) Human‐specific polymorphic pseudogenization of SIGLEC12 protects against advanced cancer progression. FASEB BioAdvances.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoLifeSciences.
You might also like... ×
Study analyzes connections between COVID-19 severity and gene expression