Research NewsCancer Genetics

New Kind of Cancer Mutation Found

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Science  29 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5330, pp. 1201
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5330.1201b

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Researchers studying colon cancer genes may have accounted for part of a puzzling shortfall. Previously identified gene mutations account for, at most, only about one-third of hereditary predispositions to colon cancer. Now, researchers have tracked down a genetic culprit that might explain at least part of that discrepancy--and it works in a way never seen before. The mutation, in the tumor-suppressor gene called APC, apparently does not inactivate the gene directly, but renders it more susceptible to further mutations that do wipe out its function.