26.03.2014

Eye cancer-causing gene mutation "discovered"

Eye cancer-causing gene mutation "discovered"

A gene mutation that is believed to cause eye cancer has been discovered by a University of British Columbia (UBC) scientist, it was claimed.

Uveal melanoma is a type of the disease located in the uveal tract, which is one of the three layers in the wall of the eye.

According to Catherine Van Raamsdonk, a UBC assistant professor of medical genetics, her team has now discovered a mutation in the GNAQ gene.

They think this is responsible for 45 per cent of all uveal melanoma and have explained their findings in the Nature journal, enabling researchers to develop therapies to intervene this kind of cancer.

"When the GNAQ gene is mutated it leads to unregulated growth of melanocytes," Ms Van Raamsdonk explained.

"Cancer is a disease of unregulated cell growth - our findings led us to the discovery that a genetic mutation of the GNAQ gene causes uveal melanoma."

She added that no other studies had investigated this particular GNAQ mutation.

The UBC is located near Vancouver, Canada.

by Adrian Galbreth


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