New research has revealed for the first time that microRNA can shut down genes that guard the genome from cancer. And the work by a team of researchers at State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute points to a new mechanism of action for developers interested in finding new ways to attack cancer.
"This study describes a totally new mechanism that might explain those cases of colorectal cancer that display microsatellite instability but no mutations or epigenetic inactivation of the mismatch repair genes," says co-author Muller Fabbri.
For one colorectal cancer line, the over-expression of miR-155 significantly eclipsed three key repair genes. And tumors with a mismatched repair inactivation demonstrated the over-expression of miR-155. "Our findings suggest that miR-155 expression might be an important stratification factor in the prognosis and treatment of cancer patients and provide an additional analytical test for exploring the etiology of microsatellite-instability tumors when the standard tests do not provide a conclusive diagnosis," says principal investigator Dr. Carlo M. Croce.
- here's the story from Medical News Today