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Cancer Onset May Be Caused by Immune System Fighting Viruses

06:46 EDT 24 Aug 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

The development of an advanced immune system to fight off microbial pathogens is a considerable part of the evolutionary success of multicellular organisms. Yet, like most success stories there is always a flip side. New evidence from investigators at the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center shows how the action of various immunity-based enzymes can spill over onto the host genome when trying to fight off various viral pathogens—ultimately leading to cancer-causing DNA mutations. Findings from the new study were published recently in Viruses , in an article entitled “ Roles of APOBEC3A and APOBEC3B in Human Papillomavirus Infection and Disease Progression .” Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is the primary cause of cervical cancer as well as a subset of head and neck cancers worldwide. In the current study, the researchers found that a family of enzymes, called APOBEC3, may be the link between viral infection and ...

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