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Simmons Cancer Institute cross-dept. team publishes endometrial cancer study findings

Published Date:

A team of SIU medical research scientists recently had their cancer study results published in a special issue of the international, peer-reviewed, open access journal Life.

The group, led by Matthew Young, PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and Laurent Brard, MD, OB-GYN, discovered that endometrial cancer tumors accumulate mutations in the multi-copied circular mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome found within our cell's energy-producing organelle, the mitochondrion.

Additionally, a novel observation was that these tumors contained higher levels of the circular mtDNA molecules connected like links in a chain (so-called catenanes). The catenanes probably represent mtDNA undergoing DNA replication. These connected molecules could help to explain the mtDNA mutagenesis observed in cancer, because actively replicating DNA can be highly sensitive to damage and mutagenesis.

The research team includes members from Carbondale (Physiology chair Buck Hales, PhD; Carolyn Young; and graduate students Md. Mostafijur Rahman and Pabitra Khadka), Springfield (Kathy Robinson, Simmons Cancer Institute; Kathleen Groesch, OB-GYN; Andrea Braundmeier-Fleming, PhD, MMICB), and a collaborator from Icahn School of Medicine, Ravi Sachidanandam, PhD, Genetic & Genomic Sciences.

A Team Science Grant award from Simmons Cancer Institute (SCI) supported the project. The group is currently analyzing a more extensive sample set and testing whether mtDNA can serve as a biomarker for endometrial cancer.

Read the article at: https://doi.org/10.3390/life12040562.

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