How BRCA-associated protein 1 (BAP1) serves as a tumor suppressor gene in kidney, eye, bile duct, mesothelioma, and other cancers-by regulating a form of cell death called ferroptosis, opening up a potential new area of therapy study-has been shown in a study by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.
"Although BAP1 is frequently mutated or deleted in a variety of cancers, the process by which it suppresses tumors remains unclear," says Boyi Gan, associate professor in the Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology. "Our study achieved a comprehensive identification of BAP1-regulated target genes and relevant biological processes in cancer cells, and identified a BAP1-mediated epigenetic mechanism linking ferroptosis to tumor suppression."
Ferroptosis is a recently identified form of regulated cell death caused by depletion of cystine, an amino acid vital to cancer cell growth and survival, and by overproduction of molecular carriers of oxygen known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) on lipids, which have been linked to cancer and are targets of some therapies.
"Ferroptosis is structurally, genetically, and biochemically distinct from other forms of regulated cell death such as apopotosis," explains Gan. "It is well...