Researchers Map Activity of Inherited Gene Variants Linked to Prostate Cancer; Findings Could Pave Way for Better Treatments, Assessments of Patient Risk

Ram Mani, PhD
UT Southwestern (UTSW) researchers and collaborators have identified the molecular function of 87 inherited genetic variants that affect the risk of prostate cancer, and the majority appear to control the activity of genes located far away from the risk variants themselves. The findings, published in Cancer Discovery on December 2, 2022, could lead to better ways to assess cancer risk and new targets for anti-cancer drugs, the study authors say. The article is titled “Prostate Cancer Transcriptomic Regulation by the Interplay of Germline Risk Alleles, Somatic Mutations, and 3D Genomic Architecture.” “Traditionally, we think of regulatory elements in the genome affecting neighboring genes,” said study leader Ram Mani, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Urology at UTSW and a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. “But these risk variants, or risk alleles, can act like a light switch. The light is on the ceiling, but the switch is on the wall on the other side of the room.”
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