IISc scientists identify gene mutation linked to brain tumour
A group of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has uncovered a previously unknown gene mutation that is linked to a highly aggressive form of a brain tumour called glioblastoma. The study has been carried out in collaboration with scientists at the
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. Glioblastoma is the deadliest and most common form of brain cancer in adults. It represents the final stage (grade IV) of a lethal cancer called astrocytoma, which arises in star-shaped supporting cells in the brain and spinal cord called astrocytes. To identify changes in genes, the team analysed the entire genetic material from 42 Indian patients with various stages of astrocytoma, and from the worldwide cancer genome atlas. Initially, they found several mutations reported previously. On further investigating, they found a specific pathway consisting of signalling molecules and receptors, which wasn’t linked to glioblastoma earlier.
This pathway was severely mutated in a small fraction of glioblastoma patients. A gene called CALCR, which codes for the calcitonin receptor, was also found to be exceptionally mutated in this pathway, and linked to poor survival.