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Shedding Research Light on the OAS Gene Family in Bladder Cancer

By: Celeste L. Dixon
Posted: Friday, December 16, 2022

The 2', 5'-oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS) gene family seems to play an important role in the pathogenesis and development of bladder cancer, and some of its genes may serve as tumor biomarkers, according to recent work combining bioinformatic data set and clinical bladder cancer specimen analysis published in BMC Cancer. In fact, “upregulating the expression of the OAS family might have a therapeutic effect” in the disease, hypothesized Deping Wang, PhD, and Jimin Cao, MD, of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, China, and colleagues.

Bladder cancer, they found, is associated with high expression of the OAS gene family (vs. its presence in normal bladder tissue). Their avenue of research was spurred by prior knowledge of the OAS gene family’s association with other cancers and noncancer pathologies, including chronic infections, autoimmune diseases, and COVID-19.

High expressions of OAS1, OAS2, OAS3, and OASL correlated with better prognosis and overall survival in patients with bladder cancer. “The expression levels of most OAS genes had correlations with genomic mutation and methylation, and with the infiltration levels of CD4-positive T cells, CD8-positive T cells, neutrophils, and dendritic cells in the [bladder cancer] microenvironment,” Dr. Cao and co-investigators continued.

The role of OAS1, compared with the roles of the other three OAS genes, was most prominent, they wrote. In bladder cancer, both the mRNA and protein levels of OAS1 were higher than those of the other three. In addition, in the analysis of patients from different databases, OAS1 was found to be the best of the four in predicting overall survival of patients with bladder cancer.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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