September 30, 2009

Target gene ID’d in bone marrow disease

U.S. medical geneticists say they have identified a possible new target gene for treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disease.

Van Andel Research Institute scientists in Grand Rapids, Mich., said their findings move science one step closer to finding new ways to treat the disease that sometimes leads to acute myeloid leukemia.

Researchers said they found the gene RhoB is important to the disease's progression and could prove to be a therapeutic target for late-stage myelodysplastic syndrome.

Using our genetic models, we've been able to provide a better understanding of underlying molecular defects that drive the malignant progression of (the disease), said Art Alberts, who led the research. The genes that we've focused on in this study might have a role not only in leukemia, but in solid tumors as well.

The research was recently reported in the online journal PLoS One.