Reuters Health Information (2005-03-17): Genetic program linking cancer to hemostasis identified
Genetic program linking cancer to hemostasis identified
Last Updated: 2005-03-17 15:56:12 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The MET oncogene, which
encodes a growth factor receptor, drives a genetic program that ties
cancer to hemostasis, according to a report in the March 17th issue of
This finding provides "direct genetic evidence for the
long-sought-after link between oncogene activation and hemostasis,"
lead author Dr. Carla Boccaccio and colleagues, from the University of
Turin Medical School in Torino, Italy, note.
Nearly 150 years ago, an association between spontaneous coagulation
and cancer onset was observed. However, the mechanisms responsible for
this relationship have largely eluded researchers.
Dr. Boccaccio's team examined this link using a murine model of
sporadic tumorigenesis derived from genetic manipulation of somatic
cells. Applying the activated MET oncogene to liver progenitor cells
eventually lead to tumors that resembled hepatic carcinoma. Before this
occurred, however, a hypercoagulation phase followed by a hemorrhagic
phase were observed.
Further analysis showed that the oncogene induced the upregulation
of the genes for plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 and COX-2. In
vivo testing revealed that altered expression of these genes could
produce the thrombohemorrhagic phenotype observed.
The authors note that "pharmacological interference" of the MET
pathway uncovered could have implications for the treatment of invasive