UH Med Now
Carbone team publishes important new finding about BAP gene and cancer in Nature
Pictured: Dr. Haining Yang, Dr. Michele Carbone and Dr. Angela Bononi in the Carbone Lab, UH Cancer Center.
By Nana Ohkawa, UH Cancer Center
The findings of a team led by the UH Cancer Center’s Director of Thoracic Oncology Michele Carbone, who is also a professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, were published June 14 in Nature. The paper highlights how the BAP1 gene regulates a channel (IP3R3) inside cells that moves calcium. When the BAP1 gene is mutated or damaged, calcium levels inside the cells decrease. The decrease of calcium makes cells more likely to become malignant when exposed to environmental carcinogens.
BAP1 mutations make up tumor cells of:
Some people are born with the mutation
The new findings explain how and why mutations of BAP1 increases cancer incidence.
“The publication of the findings in Nature, the premier scientific journal in the world, shows the power of collaboration and the fact that we can overcome our geographical isolation making Honolulu the place where scientists from Asia, Europe and the mainland meet to work together to find new ways to fight cancer,” said Haining Yang, co-author and researcher in the UH Center’s Cancer Biology Program.
“We want to prevent and treat cancer in as many people as possible. We hope to start a clinical trial, within five years or less, to test the susceptibility to chemotherapy in patients with BAP1 mutated tumors,” said Carbone.
“Publishing in Nature is like winning an Oscar for a scientist, very few do so in their career. I came to Hawaiʻi all the way from Italy and I achieved my dreams. I very much hope that our discovery will help save many lives,” said Angela Bononi, co-author and post-doctoral fellow in Carbone’s lab.