The 3' untranslated region of the prohibitin gene encodes an RNA molecule that arrests cell proliferation when injected into breast cancer cell lines. A single point mutation in this region creates a variant T allele that lacks the antiproliferative activity of the more common functional C allele. In May 19 Lancet, Eldon Jupe and colleagues from Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City present evidence that women carrying the prohibitin T allele have increased susceptibility to breast cancer.

Jupe et al performed a case control study of prohibitin genotype in women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer within the past 18 months and healthy female controls. They found a significant association between the T allele and breast cancer in women who reported a first-degree relative with the disease (2.5, p=0.005). A stronger association was found in a subset of women diagnosed at or before 50 years of...

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