September 2018

William Grizzle

Does your biospecimen resource impact science like this?

The CHTN provided human tissue samples to one of three related manuscripts that were published in the September 2017 issue of Nature Medicine (1). These 3 articles were accompanied by a News and Views article (4); all were focused on the speckle-type POZ (pox virus and zinc finger protein) or SPOP (1-4). Of note, mutations in SPOP occur in over 10% of prostate cancers and endometrial cancers (4). Such mutations are associated with two specific areas of the MATH domain (about 140 residues such as amino acids) of SPOP which facilitates the degradation of proteins; thus, mutations anywhere in the SPOP gene might expect to result in inefficient degradation of some oncoproteins. Previously, it had been assumed that mutations in a small domain of genes such as in SPOP would have similar functional effects even in similar cancers (e.g., adenocarcinomas) in different organs. Another common…