Study Discovers the Link Between Human Melanoma and the Abnormality in the CRKL Gene

A recent study conducted by the Sloan Kettering Institute attempted to understand the notion behind the various forms of cancer by experimenting on fish. The study authors considered the similarities and differences celebrated between the two species. One of the differences observed by the study included the function of the limbs, i.e., fish use their fins for swimming while human beings use their hands for various valuable and playful uses. 

One of the leading authors, Richard White, stated that genes identify how humans grow fingers rather than using fins. White further explained that the preservation of the gene process occurred throughout history. The study attempted to find a connection between gene preservation and the mystery behind the link to cancer.  

How study authors conducted their study 

The team further focused on acquiring a solution for the long-established problem of one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer- human melanoma. Scientists have not wholly comprehended the factor that differentiates acral melanoma from other forms of cancer. The study commenced with a lady affected with acral melanoma receiving treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 

During her treatment, the physicians evaluated the genetics behind her tumour and noticed that she possessed a DNA modification in one of her genes. The modification of the gene CRKL, which most identify as “crackle,” was uncommon because other forms of melanoma had alterations in the BRAF, a different gene. Another study author, Joshua Weiss, architected the ability of zebrafish to possess additional CRKL genes or a variation of the BRAF gene. 

The researchers used zebrafish as they easily modify their genes

Weiss gathered zebrafish from researching the impact of melanoma due to their ability to modify their genes easily. Following a few months, Weiss discovered that most fish manipulated with the CRKL genes acquired tumours on their fins and not the rest of the body. The significant factor was that the genetics of the tumour was similar to those present in their patient. These findings encouraged the team to evaluate the connection between the human limbs and fish fins. The team is currently working on a treatment method following the publication of the findings. 

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