Navigation Links
Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene

Research in the laboratory of Assistant Professor Frank J. Slack at Yale University has identified a new way that a familiar gene is regulated in lung cancer, presenting new possibilities for diagnosis and treatment. The work is reported in March issues of the journals Cell and Developmental Cell.

The oncogene Ras is out of control in about 20 percent of cancers where it is over-expressed or activated by mutation. According to Slack, a member of the Yale Cancer Center, it is one of the most identifiable causes in some forms of lung cancer. His team has identified let-7, a natural and separately transcribed RNA that maps to a chromosomal region associated with lung cancer as a regulator of Ras expression.

DNA of plants and animals contains sequences encoding microRNAs, important regulators of development, that control processes determining cell type and cell death.

"The let-7 microRNA regulates Ras by binding to the message for Ras and likely inhibits translation of the Ras protein," said Slack. "The microRNA does not revert a mutated Ras to normal; instead it acts like a brake on an accelerated Ras."

Lung cancer currently has a poor prognosis with less than 15 percent of patients surviving five years. The lungs, however, are relatively accessible for inhalation of potential gene therapy agents. "While this is not likely to cure the cancer," said Slack, "after diagnosis, gene therapy with let-7 may be a way to alleviate or slow it down."

This work arose from Slack's basic research in the department of molecular, cellular and developmental biology on the nematode round worms, C. elegans. He found that these worms require let-7 RNA for normal development to occur. Without it, cells do not stop dividing and fail to differentiate into the normal structures of the worm ?instead they make an excess of their cells.

After identifying let-7 as a cell division regulator, Slack's team used bioinformatics and found the relationship to Ras. Let-7 in humans is identical to the sequence in the worm, and both binding site and pathway for Ras are highly conserved.

Tissue from lung cancer tumors, compared with their normal adjacent tissue, had reduced let-7 and increased Ras -- the brakes on Ras were removed in lung tumors.

"The discovery of a new aspect of the regulation and targeting of a well-known gene involved with cancer progression will have profound implications as we continue to focus on the causes of tumor development," said Richard L. Edelson, M.D., director of Yale Cancer Center.

Other Yale researchers were Steven M. Johnson, Helge Grosshans and Kristy L. Reinert; collaborators at Ambion, Inc. included Jaclyn Shingara, Mike Byrom, Rich Jarvis, Angie Cheng, Emmanuel Labourier and David Brown. Support for the research came from the Human Frontiers Science Program, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.


'"/>

Source:Yale University


Related biology news :

1. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
2. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
3. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
4. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
5. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
6. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
7. Scientists decipher genome of fungus that can cause life-threatening infections
8. Scientists discover the cellular roots of graying hair
9. Scientists rid stem cell culture of key animal cells
10. Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding
11. Scientists identify genetic pathways essential to RNA interference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/25/2016)... , Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, the ... pharma and publication industries, will provide the data management ... Centre (NPSC). ... Phenotypic analysis measures ... whole organisms, allowing comparisons between states such as health ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... 2016   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based ... clinical research, is pleased to announce the attainment of ... the result of the company,s laser focus on (and ... , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable cloud-based technology ... Key MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... January 13, 2016 ... addition of the  "India Biometrics Authentication ... Forecast (2015-2020)"  report to their ... has announced the addition of the  ... - Estimation & Forecast (2015-2020)" ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Franz Inc. , an early innovator ... announced the availability of AllegroGraph 6, the leading Semantic Graph Database with certification ... Program (CCPT). AllegroGraph is the first Semantic Graph Database to be certified ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... England , February 8, 2016 ... Ltd ("Atlas Genetics" or the "Company"), the ultra-rapid Point-Of-Care (POC) ... to CE Mark its Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) test to be ... of the IVD Directive (98/79/EC), the CT test is now ... --> --> The launch of the io® ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Feb. 5, 2016  In the pharmaceutical industry the ... host of launch activities including the identification and engagement ... activity is especially high in the oncology therapeutic area ... Practices and the Role of Medical Affairs in Oncology ... on oncology therapies find better ways to utilize medical ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Morf ... today announced an interactive FDA compliance training course, Writing Effective ... Professional Society) accredited interactive course on Morf Playbook—now conveniently available on smartphones and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: