BEIJING, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have found that lung cancer can be inhibited by knocking out a key gene in cells, according to a recent study published in the international journal Theranostics.
The enzyme E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase HUWE1 can control DNA damage repair, cell growth and death. It is often expressed in lung tumor cells, but the mechanism of how the gene functions in the formation of lung cancers was not clear previously.
Using gene technology, researchers from Kunming Institute of Zoology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences removed the HUWE1 gene in cells in mice experiments. They found that the growth, cloning and tumor-forming abilities of lung tumour cells were inhibited after the gene deletion.
Further study showed that the absence of the HUWE1 gene led to accumulation of tumor suppressor gene P53, which can block tumor cells and stop blood vessels from growing in lung cancers.
Lung cancer is one of the most frequent types of cancers and the leading cause of tumor-associated deaths worldwide.
The research led by Zhao Xudong shows that the HUWE1 gene plays a key role in lung tumor growth, and may help improve treatment of lung cancer, according to the researchers.