CANCER

Tissue specificity of tumor suppression

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Science  19 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6437, pp. 249
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6437.249-c

It is well known that the loss of tumor suppressor genes leads to a limited subset of cancers in specific tissues. But why just those tissues? He et al. found a relatively simple explanation for how this tissue selectivity works for the tumor suppressor BAP1 using a mouse model of BAP1-induced cancer. In most cells, loss of BAP1 caused cell death or apoptosis. But in the tissues that formed tumors, differences in the regulation of genes with antiapoptotic effects allowed the cells to survive, even though BAP1 was lost. At least for this one tumor suppressor, its inactivation would normally cause a cell to die; however, this mechanism is absent in a subset of tissues, allowing the cells to proliferate and cause a tumor.

Science, this issue p. 283

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