Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have identified a gene that
plays an important role in preventing tumors in mice. Researchers have
demonstrated that reducing or eliminating the "H2A.X" gene in
mice that lack "p-53"--a well-known tumor-suppressor gene--causes
an increase in the number of tumors that develop. Sound confusing? Not
really--says Dr. Andre Nussenzweig of the NCI...
"It's important to understand the mechanism by which normal cells
transform into tumor cells, and this work shows that this protein--histone
'H2.X'--is involved in protecting cells from going on to become cancer
Dr. Nussenzweig says the lack of tumors in mice without "H2A.X"
was due to the activity of a protein known as "p-53", which
prevents cells containing damaged DNA from dividing until the damage has
been repaired--or, in the case of severe damage, causes cells to die.
Dr. Nussen- zweig's work is published in this month's [August's] journal
"Cell". This is Cherry Graziosi, the National Institutes
of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.