The Oncogenic Potential of the Centromeric Border Protein FAM84B of the 8q24.21 Gene Desert Journal Articles uri icon

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  • FAM84B is a risk gene in breast and prostate cancers. Its upregulation is associated with poor prognosis of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. FAM84B facilitates cancer cell proliferation and invasion in vitro, and xenograft growth in vivo. The FAM84B and Myc genes border a 1.2 Mb gene desert at 8q24.21. Co-amplification of both occurs in 20 cancer types. Mice deficient of a 430 Kb fragment within the 1.2 Mb gene desert have downregulated FAM84B and Myc expressions concurrent with reduced breast cancer growth. Intriguingly, Myc works in partnership with other oncogenes, including Ras. FAM84B shares similarities with the H-Ras-like suppressor (HRASLS) family over their typical LRAT (lecithin:retinal acyltransferase) domain. This domain contains a catalytic triad, H23, H35, and C113, which constitutes the phospholipase A1/2 and O-acyltransferase activities of HRASLS1-5. These enzymatic activities underlie their suppression of Ras. FAM84B conserves H23 and H35 but not C113 with both histidine residues residing within a highly conserved motif that FAM84B shares with HRASLS1-5. Deletion of this motif abolishes FAM84B oncogenic activities. These properties suggest a collaboration of FAM84B with Myc, consistent with the role of the gene desert in strengthening Myc functions. Here, we will discuss recent research on FAM84B-derived oncogenic potential.


  • Gu, Yan
  • Lin, Xiaozeng
  • Kapoor, Anil
  • Chow, Mathilda Jing
  • Jiang, Yanzhi
  • Zhao, Kuncheng
  • Tang, Damu

publication date

  • March 15, 2020

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