Rearrangements involving genes from two gene families turn up in a significant fraction of breast cancers, according to a study published online in Nature Medicine yesterday.
An international group led by investigators at the University of Michigan found gene fusions in breast cancer when they used transcriptome sequencing to screen dozens of breast cancer cell lines and tissue samples. Though the combinations of genes varied, they found that the fusions found often included genes from the microtubule-associated serine-threonine, or MAST, kinase family or Notch family. From findings so far, they estimate that these sorts of recurrent rearrangements occur in some 5 to 7 percent of breast tumors.
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