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A lack of this protein promotes the development of skin cancer

A lack of this protein promotes the development of skin cancer


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Can the TRIM29 protein affect the risk of skin cancer?

Hokkaido University researchers have now found that loss of a protein called TRIM29 promotes cancer cell invasion in a common type of skin cancer. This indicates a new diagnostic marker and a possible therapeutic goal.

Hokkaido University scientists found in their current investigation that the loss of a particular protein increases the likelihood of developing a special form of skin cancer. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Cancer Research".

How does TRIM29 affect squamous cell carcinoma?

So-called squamous cell carcinoma is a common type of cancer that usually affects the skin when it is exposed to the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. A protein that normally helps repair our DNA is also involved in breast, pancreas, prostate, lung, bladder and stomach cancer. However, the role of this protein in squamous cell carcinoma was previously unknown, the scientists say.

Low TRIM29 concentrations make cancer cells more invasive

Human squamous cell carcinoma cells with lower TRIM29 concentrations are more mobile and more invasive, which correlates with a poorer prognosis, explain the experts around Teruki Yanagi and Professor Shigetsugu Hatakeyama from Hokkaido University. The expression of TRIM29 was highest in normal skin cells. It was lower in squamous cell carcinoma and also in tumors that metastasized, and spread from the main cancer site to other parts of the body, such as the lungs. The researchers also found that switching off the gene made cancer cells more mobile and invasive in both cell cultures and mice.

TRIM29 interacts with keratin

Interestingly, the scientists found that TRIM29 interacts with another protein (keratin) within cells, which has numerous functions in the formation of a protective structural frame within cells as well as in cell mobility and signal transmission. When the TRIM29 level in a cell is normal, keratin is widely distributed in the cytoplasm. On the other hand, if the TRIM29 levels are low, keratin mainly distributes in the cell nucleus, which leads to changed cell shapes, the study authors explain.

TRIM29 as a diagnostic and prognostic marker?

Previous studies have already shown. that TRIM29 suppresses the development of breast and prostate cancer because the protein spreads in these cell types in the cytoplasm. However, it promoted the development of pancreatic, lung, bladder and stomach cancer, where it is located in the cell nucleus. In skin cells, TRIM29 is typically positioned throughout the cytoplasm, which enhances its protective role in suppressing skin cancer, the doctors say. "Our results suggest that TRIM29 can be a novel diagnostic and prognostic marker for squamous cell carcinoma that is common in skin, neck and head, and the interaction between TRIM-29 and keratin could also be a therapeutic target for the treatment of advanced and metastatic Squamous cell carcinoma, ”said study author Teruki Yanagi in a press release from Hokkaido University. (as)

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