News of the WeekHuman Genetics

Checkpoint Gene Linked to Human Cancer

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Science  24 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5449, pp. 2433-2434
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5449.2433a

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Over the past several years, a great deal of work has identified a network of proteins, called "checkpoints," that helps cells sense damage and stop dividing. Now researchers have linked mutations in one of these checkpoint proteins to cancer. On page 2528, a team of cancer geneticists reports that mutations in a known checkpoint gene called hCHK2 cause some cases of Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a hereditary cancer susceptibility that leaves its patients prone to developing any of several cancers, including breast and brain cancers and certain leukemias.