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The mRNAs included control housekeeping genes [actin, beta (ACTB) [4] and beta-2-microglobulin (B2M)] and myeloid [defensin, alpha 3, neutrophil-specific (DEFA3) and serglycin (SRGN)], erythroid [hemoglobin, beta (HBB) and uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase (UROD)], and megakaryocyte [integrin, alpha 2b (platelet glycoprotein IIb of IIb/IIIa complex, antigen CD41) (ITGA2B) and integrin, beta 3 (platelet glycoprotein IIIa, antigen CD61) (ITGB3)] lineage-specific genes.
Working together with physicians and scientists at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center in China, VARI researchers found that the protein serglycin is a marker of metastasis for NPC.
Higher levels of serglycin correlated with an unfavourable prognosis and the increased likelihood that cancer would spread to other parts of the body.
Additionally, when researchers blocked the secretion of serglycin, it reduced the cells capacity to invade and metastasise, which could mean it may have potential as a therapeutic target to stop the spread of NPC.