New Technique Used to Identify Genes That Are Relevant to the Development of Brain Tumors

June 17, 2020 | Biotechnology

Reading time: 2 minutes

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN) published an interesting article covering Biotech:

Whole genome sequencing data is used to determine the sequence of individual genes, larger genetic regions. WGS of tumor cells can aid in the prognosis of a patient’s cancer and offer clues to identify the most effective treatment. Although genomic studies of glioblastoma have been performed, alterations in the non-coding regular regions have largely remained unexplored. Researchers at Uppsala University have performed whole genome sequencing to identify functional mutations and their effect on genes relevant to the development of glioblastoma (GBM).

Their study “Whole-genome sequencing of glioblastoma reveals enrichment of non-coding constraint mutations in known and novel genes” is published in Genome Biology and led byKarin Forsberg-Nilssonand, professor of stem cell research and Head of Department for Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology at Uppsala University.

Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord, and has one of the worst five-year survival rates of all cancers.

“We apply whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to identify non-coding mutations, with regulatory potential in GBM, under the hypothesis that regions of evolutionary constraint are likely to be functional, and somatic mutations are likely more damaging than in unconstrained regions,” explained the researchers.

“One of our key tasks was to identify functional mutations associated with regulatory elements and potential relevance to the development of cancer cells, and to distinguish them from all random variations without presumed significance,” stated Forsberg-Nilsson.

“We chose to focus on a subset of mutations in the best-preserved genetic regions that are likely to affect gene regulation,” says Professor Kerstin-Lindblad-Toh at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University as well as the Broad Ins... Want to read more? Visit the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN)​ Blog.

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