Research NewsCancer Research

New Gene Forges Link Between Fragile Site and Many Cancers

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Science  03 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5262, pp. 649
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5262.649


For years, researchers have wondered whether the easily broken "fragile sites" that riddle the chromosomes are somehow involved in the genetic abnormalities that are a hallmark of aggressively growing cancer cells. The discovery of what appears to be an important new tumor-suppressor gene, called FHIT, in a fragile site on chromosome 3 now suggests that they are. FHIT's location there, for example, may render it susceptible to inactivation by chemical or viral carcinogens. Further studies are needed to confirm this, however, as the gene hasn't been definitively shown to be a tumor suppressor.