MMP Research Paper Published in Oncotarget

Congratulations to Dr Andrew Colebatch who has recently published an excellent melanoma paper, utilising biospecimens from the Melbourne Melanoma Project, in the Journal Oncotarget. Andrew, who was featured in the MMP Newsletter #5 in September 2015, has provided us with a brief description of the scientific paper’s findings:

“Our article presents a new class of mutational ‘signature’ (mutations formed in the cancer genome that are characteristic of a carcinogen) in cutaneous melanoma which is created by chronic ultraviolet exposure. Rather than occurring in the protein-coding regions of genes, these mutations occur immediately before the start of a gene in the ‘promoter’ region, which is the part of the genome which controls how, when and where genes are expressed. More specifically, these mutations occur within specific patterned motifs which match the binding sites of two families of transcription factors, which are proteins which bind to the promoter region of genes.

Fascinatingly, these mutations are also present in other skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and suggest a common response by cells to chronic ultraviolet radiation. Identifying these mutations could prove useful to measure the amount of ultraviolet radiation to which a tumour has been exposed.”

read the original full article in PDF