Women, autoimmunity, and cancer: A dangerous liaison between estrogen and activation-induced deaminase?

Robert W. Maul, Patricia J. Gearhart

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Why women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases is not completely clear, but new data suggest that the hormone estrogen may play an important role. A new study now shows that estrogen activates the expression of activation-induced deaminase (AID), a protein that drives antibody diversification by deaminating cytosine in DNA to uracil. If estrogen increases the level of AID, increased mutations could transform benign antibodies into anti-self pariahs. AID might also contribute to cancer-particularly in breast tissue, which is highly responsive to estrogen-by introducing mutations and strand breaks into the genome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-13
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume206
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 16 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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