A team of scientists from the University of York have produced innovative research to aid the understanding of the cause of bladder cancer, by recreating how toxins from smoking cause unique patterns of DNA damage.
Findings from the project could help scientists better understand the cause of bladder cancer and the link to smoking.
Researchers grew human bladder tissues in the laboratory and exposed them to a common toxin from cigarette smoke.
After the tissues were damaged by the smoke toxin, the team analysed all three billion letters of the genetic code (DNA) to find a pattern of changes called a “mutational signature.”
Dr Baker said: “Mutational signatures can be used like fingerprints at a crime scene. When we look at the DNA in a cancer we can see the fingerprints of all the criminals involved in causing the damage that led to cancer.
“The DNA damaging event might be exposure to cigarette smoke or UV from the sun but it might also be an unknown event that causes cancer."
He added the study found that the smoke toxin left its distinctive fingerprints on the DNA of bladder tissues grown in the laboratory. However, when the researchers looked at the DNA of patients’ bladder cancers, the mutational signature, of the smoke toxin, was only responsible for a small amount of the damage.
“So despite smoking being the key risk factor for bladder cancer, direct damage of the DNA by smoke toxins is unlikely to be the main reason for these cancers forming,” Dr Baker said.
APOBEC enzymes destroy viruses by mutating their DNA as part of the body’s natural defences against infection, but recent studies suggest they might mistakenly target our own DNA in a number of cancer types.
The next stage of the project will be to try and understand how and why APOBEC enzymes become activated in the cells of the bladder.
Join our new coronavirus Facebook group for the latest confirmed news and advice as soon as we get it. ___________________________________
Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.
And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.
Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.
If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.
Sincerely. Thank you.