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Protein flags colon, prostate cancers

11:20am, September 9, 2002

A protein first identified as a possible culprit in Huntington's disease may be an indicator of cancers of the prostate gland and colon, researchers report in the Aug. 1 Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The chemical is called huntingtin interacting protein 1, or HIP1, and it appears only rarely in healthy tissues and typically in small amounts. In an analysis of 53 solid-tumor cancer cell lines, Theodora S. Ross, an oncologist and biochemist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and her colleagues found evidence that HIP1 is produced in 50 of them, including cancers of the prostate, colon, breast, ovary, kidney, lung, and skin. Data from seven leukemia cell lines bolstered past findings that HIP1 is also prevalent in blood cancer.

More extensive tests of prostate-tumor cells from 114 patients showed overproduction of HIP1 in 51 percent of tumors that had remained localized and in 70 percent of tumors that had spread beyond the prostate. In contrast, HIP

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