Navigation Links
Serendipity points to new potential target and therapy for melanoma
Date:12/20/2012

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study in this month's edition of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology describes a new target and potential treatment for melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. MicroRNA can decide which genes in a cell's DNA are expressed and which stay silent. Melanoma tends to lack microRNA-26a, which makes the gene SODD go silent.

"It's a double negative," says Yiqun Shellman, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center, associate professor at the CU School of Medicine, and the study's co-senior author. "miR-26a works to stop the growth of cancer. You turn off this thing that should stop growth, and you have growth."

When Shellman, David Norris and colleagues reintroduced microRNA-26a to melanoma cell lines that lacked it, they saw a marked decrease in cancer cell survival. MicroRNA-26a killed melanoma cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

In fact, the discovery started back a couple steps. First the group compared microRNA expression in healthy cells to that of microRNA expression in melanoma cells. "We hoped the difference between microRNA expression in healthy and melanoma cells would show which ones were contributing to tumorgenesis," Shellman says.

The microRNA most consistently different between healthy and cancerous cells was 26a. The discovery of how it works and what exactly it does was serendipitous. "We started by testing the effect of microRNA-26a on known gene targets to see if it was effecting the expression of logical, cancer-causing pathways, but none of them seemed affected in melanoma," Shellman says. "We were working with the SODD gene in an unrelated project, and SODD has a putative but not high-scored binding site for miR-26a, and thought, why not test it? Sure enough, it turned out to be the target microRNA-26a downregulates this gene."

Shellman hopes this robust finding in cell cultures will help pave the way for future work with microRNA-26a as a therapeutic target in animal models and eventually a human trial.

"The first step is to further pinpoint the genetic signatures of the patients likely to benefit from microRNA-26a replacement therapy," Shellman says, noting that only some and not all melanoma cells were killed by miRNA replacement. "Maybe it's simply the downregulation of microRNA-26a itself, or maybe we can use SODD expression as the biomarker," Shellman says.

Once Shellman and colleagues discover the characteristics of a melanoma susceptible to microRNA-26a treatment, they hope funding will allow the lab to follow the promising therapy up the evolution from cells to humans.


'/>"/>

Contact: Garth Sundem
garth.sundem@ucdenver.edu
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Research pinpoints key gene for regenerating cells after heart attack
2. Protein injection points to muscular dystrophy treatment
3. University of Maryland School of Medicine, NIH study pinpoints brain areas role in learning
4. New study to examine ecological tipping points in hopes of preventing them
5. Remarkable enzyme points the way to reducing nitric acid use in industry
6. U OF A expert pinpoints nutrient behind fresh water algae blooms
7. Under the right conditions, peptide blocks HIV infection at multiple points along the way
8. Study points to causes of high dolphin deaths in Gulf of Mexico
9. Conatus Pharmaceuticals Appoints Mark F. Morris as Head of Biostatistics
10. 3-V Biosciences Appoints Douglas I. Buckley, PhD, as Vice President of Biology
11. Computer model pinpoints prime materials for efficient carbon capture
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/17/2016)... -- ABI Research, the leader in transformative technology ... will reach more than $30 billion by 2021, ... electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to boost the biometrics ... two billion shipments by 2021 at a 40% ... Analyst at ABI Research. "Surveillance is also gearing ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - ... reference: Picture is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... will be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG ... innovations, at CeBIT in Hanover next week.   ... DERMALOG will be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... HAMBURG, Germany , March 9, 2016 ... African country,s government identified that more than 23,000 public ... name or had been receiving their salary unlawfully.    ... West African country,s government identified that more than 23,000 ... recorded name or had been receiving their salary unlawfully. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Doctors in Italy, Japan, ... studies on the BRCA-1 associated protein (BAP1) gene and its link to malignant mesothelioma. ... Click here to read the full article now. , The studies analyzed for ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... and READING, England ... Indegene ( http://www.indegene.com ), a leading global provider ... science, pharmaceutical and healthcare organisations and TranScrip ( ... scientific support throughout the product lifecycle, today announced ... launch of IntraScience.      (Logo: ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 ... ... development and manufacturing company, today announced several positive developments that position the Company ... As a result of the transaction, Craig F. Kinghorn has been appointed Chairman ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The Ankle Plating ... options designed to address fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. This system ... Ankle Plating System 3 is composed of seven plate families that span the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: