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Genetic mutations linked to salivary gland tumours

30 July 2014

Genetic mutations linked to salivary gland tumours

Researchers have discovered links between a set of genes known to promote tumour growth and mucoepidermoid carcinoma, an oral cancer that affects the salivary glands.

Study leader Michael Conkright at The Scripps Research Institute, said: “This research provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms of these malignancies and points to a new direction for potential therapies.”

The research, published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that a pair of proteins joined together by a genetic mutation – known as C1/M2 – work with MYC, a protein commonly associated with other cancers, to promote the oral cancer’s growth and spread.

First author of the study, Antonio Amelio, said: “The identification of unique interactions between C1/M2 and MYC suggests that drugs capable of disrupting these interactions may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of mucoepidermoid carcinomas.” 

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