Cold Spring Harbor scientists find a biomarker for p53 cancer mutations

Investigators at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory say they've identified a biomarker that can quickly highlight a potentially deadly mutation in p53, a natural tumor suppressor. They found that the length of an anchoring chain that holds the signaling molecule PI (phosphatidylinositide) in position in the inner membrane of cells is shorter than normal in mutated p53 and can be found in a matter of minutes with the right equipment. "What we would like to find out now," says Lloyd Trotman, "is whether the p53-induced changes in the PI molecule are important in either making or maintaining the cancer state. If so, then in addition to p53 mutations, there may be other ways for cancer cells to generate the same or related changes. We will be looking for this in tissue samples from cancer patients." Release