PAD2 Overexpression May Promote Skin Cancer

Research published this month in the journal Cancer Research, found that increased expression of the enzyme PAD2 in young mice could lead to skin tumors that could progress to invasive squamous cell carcinoma.

New research on an enzyme linked to cancer development shows that 37% of mice that produce excessive quantities of the enzyme developed skin tumors within 4 to 12 months of birth, and many of these growths progressed to highly invasive squamous cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer.

Cancer Research

This finding, published online September 11 in the journal , provides the first genetic link between the activity of the enzyme, called PAD2, and cancer progression, and provides important supporting evidence for further studies aimed at using PAD2 inhibitors to block carcinoma progression in humans.

Lead author Scott Coonrod, the Judy Wilpon Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at the Baker Institute for Animal Health in Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, has studied links between PAD2 and other PAD (peptidylarginine deiminase) enzymes and cancer for some time. Those prior studies suggested that PAD2 plays an important role in regulating genes during cancer progression; however, a direct link between PADs and tumor progression had not yet been proven. Other work from the lab suggested that PAD2 is found at high concentrations in several tumor types, but it was not known whether these elevated levels of the enzyme were causing cancer or merely a consequence of tumor progression.

Report on MedicalXpress: