Research ArticleCANCER

The histone code reader PHD finger protein 7 controls sex-linked disparities in gene expression and malignancy in Drosophila

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Science Advances  14 Aug 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 8, eaaw7965
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7965


The notable male predominance across many human cancer types remains unexplained. Here, we show that Drosophila l(3)mbt brain tumors are more invasive and develop as malignant neoplasms more often in males than in females. By quantitative proteomics, we have identified a signature of proteins that are differentially expressed between male and female tumor samples. Prominent among them is the conserved chromatin reader PHD finger protein 7 (Phf7). We show that Phf7 depletion reduces sex-dependent differences in gene expression and suppresses the enhanced malignant traits of male tumors. Our results identify potential regulators of sex-linked tumor dimorphism and show that these genes may serve as targets to suppress sex-linked malignant traits.

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