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Epigenetic activity silences Rb2/P130 gene in lung cancer

b2/p130 gene. Once the drugs or agents disconnect the methyl groups from Rb2/p130, the gene begins to again express itself or function normally."

He likened this methylation/de-methylation phenomenon--which can stop or start the expression of a gene--to a lightswitch which is used to turn a lamp off or on.

Giordano said some of these agents that will de-methylate Rb2 are already available, but have not been previously used because researchers did not know that the lack of expression from the gene was being caused by its methylation.

"Our discovery is providing a smart method to identify novel methylated drugs or agents that can assist in restarting the vital expression of Rb2/p130," he said.

Through the use of a simple genetic (both at DNA and Protein level) test of Rb2 gene and protein from a human tissue sample, said Giordano, scientists could determine if cancerous or pre-cancerous conditions exist because of the epigenetic state of the gene.

"We could develop a potential test which could save many, many people from the ravages of cancer," he said.


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Contact: Preston M. Moretz
pmoretz@temple.edu
215-204-7476
Temple University
12-Sep-2005


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