Navigation Links
Using millions of years of cell evolution in the fight against cancer
Date:8/7/2012

As the medical community continues to make positive strides in personalized cancer therapy, scientists know some dead ends are unavoidable. Drugs that target specific genes in cancerous cells are effective, but not all proteins are targetable. In fact, it has been estimated that as few as 10 to 15 percent of human proteins are potentially targetable by drugs. For this reason, Georgia Tech researchers are focusing on ways to fight cancer by attacking defective genes before they are able to make proteins.

Professor John McDonald is studying micro RNAs (miRNAs), a class of small RNAs that interact with messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that have been linked to a number of diseases, including cancer. McDonald's lab placed two different miRNAs (MiR-7 and MiR-128) into ovarian cancer cells and watched how they affected the gene system. The findings are published in the current edition of the journal BMC Medical Genomics.

"Each inserted miRNA created hundreds of thousands of gene expression changes, but only about 20 percent of them were caused by direct interactions with mRNAs," said McDonald. "The majority of the changes were indirect they occurred downstream and were consequences of the initial reactions."

McDonald initially wondered if those secondary interactions could be a setback for the potential use of miRNAs, because most of them changed the gene expressions of something other than the intended targets. However, McDonald noticed that most of what changed downstream was functionally coordinated.

miR-7 transfection most significantly affected the pathways involved with cell adhesion, epithelial-mesenchymal transitions (EMT) and other processes linked with cancer metastasis. The pathways most often affected by miR-128 transfection were different. They were more related to cell cycle control and processes involved with cellular replication another process that is overactive in cancer cells.

"miRNAs have evolved for millions of years in order to coordinately regulate hundreds to thousands of genes together on the cellular level," said McDonald. "If we can understand which miRNAs affect which suites of genes and their coordinated functions, it could allow clinicians to attack cancer cells on a systems level, rather than going after genes individually."

Clinical trials for miRNAs are just beginning to be explored, but definitive findings are likely still years away because there are hundreds of miRNAs whose cellular functions must be fully understood. Another challenge facing scientists is developing ways to effectively target therapeutic miRNAs to cancer cells, something McDonald and his Georgia Tech peers are also investigating.


'/>"/>
Contact: Jason Maderer
maderer@gatech.edu
404-385-2966
Georgia Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Frequent traveller: Dysentery-causing bacteria spreading from Europe to Australia
2. Using wastewater as fertilizer
3. 3-D motion of cold virus offers hope for improved drugs using Australias fastest supercomputer
4. Real-life spider men using protein found in venom to develop muscular dystrophy treatment
5. Silver nanoparticle synthesis using strawberry tree leaf
6. Bangladeshi women prefer pollution-causing cookstoves
7. Faster, cheaper gas and liquid separation using custom designed and built mesoscopic structures
8. Using graphene, scientists develop a less toxic way to rust-proof steel
9. Canadian girl, 16, invents disease-fighting, anti-aging compound using tree particles
10. Better housing conditions for zebrafish could improve research results
11. What is really causing the child obesity epidemic?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected ... 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 ... Cloud used by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and ... platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine ... more personalized product and replenishment recommendations to their ... also on predictions of customer intent drawn from ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... PMD Healthcare announces the release of its ... System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring and ... is a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic Care ... innovative solutions that empower people to improve their healthcare ... developed the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of scientific trending news and ... announcing a new textbook scholarship, the second scholarship in the LabRoots program. , ... older, pursuing a degree in one of the life sciences. The scholarship will provide ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Patient ... developed with Wi-Fi connectivity to reduce the amount of wiring in a healthcare ... addition, compact mobile devices including infusion pumps, heart and hypertension monitoring, glucose monitoring, ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... this month its 20th anniversary, marking the occasion with a strong presence at ... meeting’s Welcome Reception and further extends an invitation to all attendees to view ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Kathy Goin is joining myClin ... brings years of expertise in establishing and leading clinical operations at Sponsors including ... occupational therapist, through a variety of leadership roles in Clinical Operations, to her ...
Breaking Biology Technology: