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:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful ... a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against ... collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ... DNA. Bill Bollander , CEO states, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., ... Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field ... DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company ... to the medical community, has closed its Series A ... Nunez . "We have received a commitment ... capital we need to meet our current goals," stated ... us the runway to complete validation on the current ...
Breaking Biology Technology: