On April 11 MBBP client Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research announced its scientists have discovered a set of powerful gene regulators that control cell state and identity which they named “super-enhancers”. They found that healthy cells employ these “super-enhancers” to control genes responsible for cellular functions and developmental transitions, but cancer cells hijack their own super-enhancers which are used to overproduce harmful oncogenes that lead to aggressive tumors. Whitehead Institute member Richard Young had this to say of the discovery:
Looking at large genome association studies, one can find disease-related mutations occurring in super-enhancers. It’s possible that super-enhancers could become biomarkers that identify key disease genes and help guide the development of approaches to treatment.
To learn more, please view the full press release here.