Universal, essential biomarker identified for childhood neuroblastoma


Researchers have newly recognized a common, important biomarker for the childhood most cancers neuroblastoma – and a possible new goal for remedy.

Neuroblastoma accounts for 15% of all pediatric most cancers deaths and is the commonest supply of childhood tumors exterior of mind most cancers. The illness develops in early nerve tissue, normally in and across the adrenal glands, and usually impacts kids below age 5. Excessive-risk circumstances have a five-year survival price of simply 50%.

Led by UC San Francisco, researchers suspected the oncoprotein AF1q, which is understood to play a job in leukemia and strong tumor development, could be vital in tumors of neural origin too. They used the Broad Institute’s Most cancers Cell Line Encyclopedia database to match AF1q gene expression – that’s, whether or not and the way the gene is used to make most cancers proteins – in 37 various kinds of pediatric and grownup malignancies. 

The researchers additionally used the “Depmap” Most cancers Dependency Map database to investigate the influence of gene silencing (i.e. stopping gene expression) and gene enhancing of various most cancers cell traces. 

AF1q, they discovered, was expressed on the highest ranges in neuroblastoma in comparison with all different tumor sorts. Neuroblastoma cells have been additionally extra reliant upon AF1q than some other cell line. And once they silenced AF1q in neuroblastoma cells, it appeared to provoke cell demise and weaken the progress of tumors. Outcomes have been revealed in Oncogene.

The important thing to how AF1q works in neuroblastoma, mentioned Julie Saba, MD, UCSF pediatric oncologist and senior research creator, seems to be its skill to take care of excessive mobile ranges of N-myc, one other oncoprotein which is linked to high-risk neuroblastoma. 

N-myc has lengthy been thought-about an ‘undruggable’ goal in neuroblastoma. However now we see AF1q as a possible Achilles heel we are able to use to destabilize that concentrate on.” 

Julie Saba, MD, UCSF pediatric oncologist and senior research creator

Future research will deal with figuring out how AF1q interacts with different mobile proteins after which utilizing that info to focus on AF1q’s actions in most cancers cells.


Journal reference:

Oskouian, B., et al. (2024). AF1q is a common marker of neuroblastoma that sustains N-Myc expression and drives tumorigenesis. Oncogene. doi.org/10.1038/s41388-024-02980-y.

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