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The GPCR-cancer connection

Researchers from Roche's Genentech Inc.unit have identified a host of somatic mutations and gene copy number alterations across human cancers that represent potential targets for the disease.1 Nineteen of the 112 candidate cancer genes identified are G protein-coupled receptors. With many of these receptors already being targeted in other indications, the path may be open to move rapidly on genes that are validated as cancer targets.

Although previous systematic efforts to sequence somatic mutations in cancer have resulted in new insights into the disease and the identification of new drug targets, these earlier efforts are believed to have only scratched the surface of the cancer genome.2

To expand the list of known somatic mutations, a team led by Somasekar Seshagiri, a senior scientist in molecular biology at Genentech, now has sequenced 1,507 cancer-associated or druggable genes, including 156 G protein-coupled receptors

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