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:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, ... call to industry to share solutions for the Biometric ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP ... are departing the United States , ... and to defeat imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global ... to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according ... Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial ... to drive the market growth.      ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... Paris Police Prefecture ... solution to ensure the safety of people and operations in ... major tournament Teleste, an international technology group specialised ... today that its video security solution will be utilised by ... public safety across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)...   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, ... financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will ... its drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional ... has been an incredible strategic partner to us – ... would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced that ... joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled that ... of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays brings ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ky. , June 23, 2016 ... two Phase 1 clinical trials of its complement ... placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies designed ... pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult ... subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose (ranging ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 ... 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published recently ... peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz ... of cancer care is placing an increasing burden ... expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on many ...
Breaking Biology Technology: